Punny Name

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"As they come around now for the bell lap. Rooin Mahmood the Indian, Pissenmiov the Russian, just behind, the Italian, Beinsilli... There's another runner there on the inside, Whoskrapdisdacsz from Poland, and dropping away now, the Swede, Lars Persson."

Sometimes, a name isn't exactly meaningful or hiding something, but there's still something about it that is weird. And then you read it really fast, and go, "Oh!" and have your chuckle over the pun.

Pun names are just that: Names that make puns. Some are semi-Meaningful Name in that they sometimes describe an activity germane to the character's profession, such as a baseball player named Homer (of which there have been several actual Major League Baseball players with that moniker, although a few were pitchers).

The pun name is a staple of the prank caller, who will disguise it just right so the other guy doesn't get the pun until he blurts it out.

A Subtrope is the humourous book-and-author gag sometimes referred to as Batty Books. If a lot of characters in a given work have a Punny Name, it could be an example of Punny Theme Naming.

See also: Who's on First?, Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.

Examples of Punny Name include:

Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. IN Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters - Many of the one-off duelist characters had names that perfectly matched their deck theme: Inspector Haga/Weevil Underwood, etc. The trope was most prominent in the English dub. By the show's final season, these names were was phased out, and they rarely appear in its sequel, Yu-Gi-Oh GX—Tyranno Kenzan/Tyranno Hassleberry being one of the few examples.
    • Examples include: Rex Raptor who primarily uses dinosaur monsters; Mako Tsunami, who primarily uses water-based monsters; Mai Valentine, who uses cards based off of lust/love/desire; Espa Roba (ESP), who claims to have psychic powers; and Grandpa Solomon could also be seen as this, as he is supposed to be rich in his wisdom of Duel Monsters.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise mainly sticks to single names with relevant meanings, with a prominent exception. Yes! Pretty Cure 5 gave us Mika Masuko (Masuko Mika in Japanese family-name-first order), "but from now on, call me Masukomi-ka!" "Masukomi" (or Mass Communication) being the Japanese version of the English phrase "mass media." (For the record, nobody actually calls her that.)
  • Father Anderson of Hellsing was a Catholic priest. Shame he didn't have a middle name of Holyghost, mind.
    • Though probably unintentional, "ande" is Swedish for ghost.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew, with its Pun-Based Title, likes using puns. Maybe not for the character names, although there are some pretty weird elements to the Theme Naming, but the weapons and attacks, which usually make use of English... and actually work better in the Japanese. Come on, Lettastanets?
  • Every main character in Sailor Moon has the Japanese character for the planet she represents in her name. Even more obvious is the main character's name, Tsukino Usagi. "Tsuki" means "moon" and "Usagi" means "rabbit", so her name sounds exactly like the Tsuki no Usagi ... sorry, "Rabbit of the Moon" ... of Japanese folklore. There are too many names to list in full. Naoko Takeuchi just seems to like this in general, since in her early manga The Cherry Project all of the characters have punny names, most noticeably the protagonist, whose name is Asuka Chieri.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Almost every character in the series has a punny name, often relating to either music or major arcana Tarot cards. For example Robert Edward O. Speedwagon. We have also Vanilla Ice. His Stand is called Cream. Think about it. Cream was a band headed by Eric Clapton in the '60s, making it Theme Naming as well.
  • Speed Racer - the protagonist's given name is Go. In addition to the obvious pun, Go is Japanese for the number 5, hence the number on the car. A common anime naming scheme is to give a character a name that's the homophone of a number. That number then tends to crop up all over.
  • Bleach: Even though Kurosaki Ichigo's name means "protector", it sounds the same as the Japanese for "one five" (ichi = 1, go = 5). He is 15 years old and has a sign with the number 15 on his bedroom door. With different kanji, it means "strawberry" a semi-common girls' name, and can also be used to tease him about his hair color. Unlike most cases of You Gotta Have Blue Hair, his hair is noticeable to the other characters.
  • Yomi from Azumanga Daioh. Her full name is Koyomi Mizuhara, which roughly means "read between the lines."
  • Ranma ½ has quite a few.
    • Ryoga's name is a pun on his fangs.
    • Shampoo, Cologne, and Mousse are fairly obvious puns.
    • Ukyo's name is a pun on being from Kansai. Ukyo: kyo (京) is the kanji for capital - Tokyo (東京) and Kyoto (京都府) (the former capital). Ukyo (右京) breaks down into the kanji for "to the right of" and "capital (of a country)".
  • Naruto:
    • Natuto Uzumaki himself. Uzumaki means whirlpool. There's a Naruto bridge in Japan, under which the tide continuously forms whirlpools. This is because Naruto also means whirlpool. The whirlpool thing could also link to the spiral design on the sleeve and back of his jacket, as well as his Rasengan signature attack [a whirling ball of chakra]. There's another pun in there—a naruto is a type of rice cake found in the main character's Trademark Favorite Food, ramen. This has been hinted at least once, as the onbu Naruto took care of in a filler liked these. And yet another one: his mother came from the Hidden Whirlpool Village.
    • The host of the two and eight-tailed beast have punny names relate to the number of tails of their beast. The second tailed is named Yugito Nii, with Ni being Japanese for "two". The eight tails's name is actually bilingual as while the name is a Japanese approximation of the word Killer Bee in English, this is because the Japanese word for "bee" (hachi) is pronounced the same was as the word for "eight".
    • In fact, the majority of named characters from Bee's home village have names that are Japanese renderings of English letters, meaning that his name has a triple meaning: it's also the letter B (which as you can see kinda resembles an 8). And their attacks also have punny names: the English names of Professional Wrestling moves, but written in kanji that approximate the English pronunciation of the wrestling moves only if uncommonly-used alternate readings are used. The more usual reading of the kanji produces Japanese phrases that also are fairly accurate descriptions of the attacks. As you can see, Japan loves this trope.
  • Several characters from the works of Osamu Tezuka. Inspector Tawashi, for example, whose name is Japanese for scrub-brush, which his mustache resembles.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray - The protagonist Lowe Gere is a a mechanic/mecha pilot.
  • In the first episode of Dirty Pair Flash, it's stated that Yuri's home planet is called "Shack-G". It's named after the town of Shakujii, the real-life location of Studio Nue.
  • Lucky Star: Konata Izumi's name can also mean "this person" or "here". In the same vein, her mother Kanata's name means "that person" or "there." The latter meaning of Kanata's name is heavily used in merchandise related to her, as she's literally "on the other side."
  • Soul Eater: We have Maka, anagram of "kama", which means scythe, the resident Badass Bookworms Ox Ford and Harvar D. Eclair and then there are Jacqueline "Jackie O'Lantern" Dupre and Dr Franken Stein...
    • The Hungarian dubbing team translated the name of Death the Kid, as "Kid, a halál fia", which literally means "Kid, son (or kid) of death", as he is the son of Shinigami-sama, but it is also an expression that means "a goner".
    • Eruka and Mizune are anagrams of kaeru (frog) and nezumi (mouse).
  • Shaman King - Lyserg Diethel, his fairy Morphin, Camel Munzer, Peyote, and Kanna Bismarck. Hiroyuki Takei was probably playing on the joke that most shamans and mediums could be... On drugs, or something. Nearly all of the patch in the English versions were puns on various metals or alloys.
  • Shirahime Kanata from the light novel series Oto x Maho has a weapon named OverThere. Guess what kanata translates to. Later, when Kanata really turns into a girl, the OverThere becomes the Cross OverThere.
  • Pokémon is a Hurricane of Puns.
    • Ash Ketchum and Tracey Sketchit. Try to guess what they do.
    • The Oak family as a whole fits into the tree-themed naming system, but when you realize there is an actual type of tree called the Garry Oak...
    • There are species known as the red ash, the green ash, the blue ash, and the indigo ash. Red, green, and blue are three of the four Generation 1 colors/versions, and the Indigo Plateau houses what is essentially the ultimate challenge in the Pokémon League for Pokémon Trainers of the Kanto and Johto regions.
    • And the wonderfully groanworthy/clever anime episode titles in the English dub. See Bulbapedia. However, with the Pokémon Best Wishes era, this trend seems to be in a steep decline with the English dubbing team, with puns being either awkward or not present at all - an example of the latter is the rather bland and to-the-point title of the 31st Best Wishes episode, "Ash and Trip's Third Battle!"
    • It's so ingrained in the series that one character who DIDN'T have a Punny Name at first, Todd, was later renamed in re-airings as "Snap." He's a photographer (and the featured character of the N64 game Pokémon Snap).
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross - The three Zentraedi spies are named Warera, Loli, and Conda. Their names combine to form "Warera lolicon da", Japanese for "we are pedophiles". Lampshaded when Loli steals a singing Minmei doll from a store and Shammy Miliome notices it and accuses him of being a pedophile ("lolicon") and Loli exclaims, "She knows my name!"
  • Highschool! Kimengumi. Everyone! A few examples are:
    • Undou Kai, an athlete; undoukai means "sports" or "sports day".
    • Kireide Shou, a pretty boy; kirei deshou means "aren't I good-looking?".
    • Kawa Yui, a cute girl; kawayui means "cute".
  • Natsu Yasumi in Potemayo, which reads like the words for "summer vacation".
  • Osana Najimi in Doujin Work, which sounds like osananajimi, or childhood friend.
  • Sai Akuto in Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou. His name can also be read as "saiakuto", which means "the worst person". Fitting for his eventual future as the Demon King.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler - Hayate is 'Rushing Winds', his parents named him such to help him run from debt collectors. Nagi, the other main character, means 'calm' in contrast to Hayate. The series name also becomes the name of Hayate's special attack, which is a burst of wind (which he is careful not to employ around those wearing skirts).
  • In Dragon Ball Z, there were three villains named Bibidi, Babidi, and Buu. Bibidi is only briefly mentioned as part of the backstory, making the pun slightly less obvious. Slightly.
    • There's actual a huge number of puns/odd naming schemes in Dragon Ball Z. All the Saiyan names are based on some kind of vegetable (Kakarot/Carrot, Vegeta/Vegetable, Nappa/Nappa Valley Letuce, Broly/Broccoli, etc.)
    • And the Ginyu Force's names are all based on dairy products. The literal translation of their name in the Japanese version is "Special Corps. Milk." They only work in Japanese though. Their English names equate to Japanese words or slightly modified English anagrams for Cheese (Jeice,) Milk (Ginyu,) Butter (Burter,) Cream (Recoome,) and Yogurt (Guldo)
    • Most characters are named after food,food-related items and other various mundane items. For example: Piccolo(pickle), Oolong(oolong tea), Yamcha(a kind of dim sum), Chaozu(a kind of dumpling or potsticker) and so on. Also, there's the Brief family who are all named after underwear(Trunks-another name for boxers, Bulma(japanese version of 'bloomer'), however, neither Bulma's mother and father ever get first names and are only known as Mr. and Mrs. Brief, all of Frieza's family(Frieza=freezer, Coola=cooler, etc.) and, of course, Dr. Gero(gear) who's a mad scientist who builds robots and also happens to become one by the time the Z era of the animes happen.
  • In Death Note, the title and titular object are a pun on shinigami, which literally breaks down to "death god". The god part, "kami", can also mean hair or paper. The protagonists name is also a pun, a dual-language one. "Raito" as a name is more likely in Japanese than "Light" is in English, but it means the same in both languages and essentially pinpoints how the character sees himself. In addition, "Yagami" breaks into "night god", an analogous phrase for a death god. There's also Raye Penber, whose name is not, as far as I'm aware as pun in itself, but is in context (Light and Raye). Tsugumi Ohba's love of puns probably means there are more.
  • Kamatari of Rurouni Kenshin wields a large scythe and is known as "the Great Scythe (O-kama) of the Ten Swords". Okama is slang for a homosexual transvestite, which he is.
  • Several characters in the 60's dub of Kimba the White Lion.
    • Pauly Cracker (a parrot).
    • Bucky (a gazelle).
    • Ali (an aligator).
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki's name, is the hiragana for "summer princess." Natsuki was born on August 15, and is a Hime (based off the Japanese word for "princess"), which her parents were aware of all along. Natsuki's mother nicknames her "princess" at times, but she doesn't learn the meaning until she actually becomes a Hime.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey reveals at the end of Episode 8 that the origin for the term "Mahou shoujo" is because they ultimately turn into witches, or "majo".
  • In One Piece, Zoro's most basic special attack, "Oni Giri", ("Demon Slash") has name similar to his favorite food, oniigiri (rice balls).
  • Old kids' anime "Robby the Rascal" (Cybot Robochi) has the full name of Dr. Deko, the resident Mad Scientist of the series: Art Deko (as in the Art Déco movement).

Comedy[edit | hide]

  • A mainstay of the The Twelfth Man audio comedies, especially with parodies of foreign sportsmen's names. Examples include "Wasee A-Crim" (Was He A Crim)- A remarkably prescient reference to Wasim Akram some years before the match-fixing controversy), "Hafeez Andmissin" (Half His Hand Missing) - A parody of Azeem Hafeez who was born without two fingers on his right hand), and "Imheer Sohail" (I'm Here So Hail) - Aamir Sohail.
  • A Rowan Atkinson skit titled "Role Call" featured this trope in which Rowan played a teacher calling role, all of the student names he called out were punny and also rather inappropriate (e.g Herpes, Ima Dick, Up Yorsh, My Prick, Your Prick, and On Top)

"Nibble! LEAVE. ORIFACE. ALONE!"


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Pick a character from the French comic book series Asterix. Any character (Excluding Historical Domain Characters such as Julius Caesar, Brutus, and Cleopatra). The English translation does very well at turning French punny names into English punny names.
  • Silver Surfer - The Surfer's name is Norrin Radd.
  • Tintin delighted in this, whether in character names or place names. The English translators did nearly as good a job as the Asterix ones in this respect.
  • Invincible - Roughly half of the characters have a Punny Name. Examples include Dupli-Kate (and her brother Multi-Paul; believe it or not, they're Chinese) and Rex Splode.
  • Plenty of minor characters in Usagi Yojimbo have names that are funny when translated from Japanese, such as Lord Sakana-no-Ashiyubi ("Fish Toes"), or Saiko the assassin.
    • And one that doesn't need to be translated: the apparently-unkillable slasher, Jei-san.
  • Monster Allergy - There's Lay Mamery. Which could stand for memory or other assets of hers.
  • Y: The Last Man. When Agent 355 tells Yorick they're going to meet fellow Culper Ring agent 711, Yorick wants to know if people keep asking her if she's "open all night". 355 promises to rip his balls off with a claw hammer if he makes a joke like that again.
    • There is also Yorick's Cool Big Sis Hero... who ends up running with a psychotic cult and murders at least two women in cold blood.
  • Batman
    • The Joker has been known to use the name Joe Kerr as a pseudonym. Yeesh.
    • Amusingly, one of the main writers on the Batman the Brave And The Bold animated series is actually named Joseph Kuhr.
    • Jack Napier as well (off of "jackanape", for a mischief-making kid.)
    • In one story, he used the alias "Longreen", which a citizen innocently pronounced "long grin"...
    • Harley Quinn whose birth name is Harleen Quinzel.
    • And Riddler's name is Edward Nigma (Or Nygma), sometimes given as Mr. E. Nigma ("Mystery Enigma"), though it was only in recent years they made this a pseudonym.
    • Writer Chuck Dixon snuck an homage to the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series into the geography of Gotham City. One of the most important spans in Gotham is the Westward Bridge.
  • Fallen Angel features crime-fighting duo Juanita "J.J." Sachs and Ernie "Violens" Schultz--, or, as they're more commonly known, Sachs and Violens.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew 's sentient-animal dominated parallel world of Earth-C uses (to us) various animal-themed puns for the names of cities, countries, and counterparts of real-world individuals. For example, the characters lived in the "United Species of America", the president of which was "Mallard Fillmore" (No Relation).
  • In the 2000 AD comic Kingdom, pretty much all the characters are genetically engineered dog-human warrior hybrids. And every single one of them has a Punny Name based on A) Hollywood and B) the fact that they're canine killing machines. The main character is Gene Hack-Man, while other characters include Val Kill-More, Will Feral, Dingo Starr, Clara Bow (she's an archer, natch), Holly the Hunter... Justified Trope in that one of the humans who created them explained that he and his fellows thought this naming convention was really funny.
  • American Born Chinese has a Funny Foreigner who embodies every negative Asian stereotype possible. Fittingly, his name "Chin-Kee" is a pun on the Chinese ethnic slur "chink".
  • Separately, they don't fit the trope, but when put together, Fite and Maad, Those Two Bad Guys from Young Justice, do. It doesn't go unnoticed.

DEO Agent: "...and believe me, you want to steer clear of them."
Robin: "How come?"
Agent: "Because they're Fite 'n Maad, that's why."
Impulse: "Ooh, I'm so scared."

    • Fite's daughter, Anita Fite, also fits the trope.
  • In Marvel Comics, there is a character named Black Bolt, the king of a race of superhumans. His real name: Blackagar Boltagon. Unsurprisingly, this is rarely mentioned.
  • Green Arrow villain Merlyn's real name is Arthur King. While this partially serves as a counterpoint to Green Arrows's real name of Oliver Queen, think about it for a second. Merlyn... King, Arthur...
  • In DC Comics, Mr. Miracle, escape artist extraordinaire and New Gods, is named Scott Free.
  • The Filth gives us Harlotte Church.
  • The real name of old X-Men villain the Vanisher is Telford Porter. Guess what his mutant superpower is.
    • Or there's the X-Men villain Cassandra Nova. Given her grotesque appearance and lack of social skills, it was likely meant as an ironic pun on Casanova (Cassie Nova).
  • Spider-Girl - May 'Mayday' Parker is Spider-Girl, and "May" is a common diminutive of both "Mary" and "Margaret". She later got a clone-sister (who thinks she is the real May and Mayday is the clone) who eventually took the name April.
  • Shamelessly featured in Give Me Liberty, such as General Spank, Attorney General Sphincter, and General Crotch, leader of the Aryan Thrust gay white supremacists.
  • Pretty much every recurring character in Cherry Comics: Cherry Poptart, Ellie Dee, Patty Melt, Lola Palooza...
  • Many in Empowered. Stigmata Hari, Gnümetal, Plutonium Blonde, Valkyrie Eleison, Eye Eye Sir, Gooey Samaritan, Ubiquitease, Blitzcraig...
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier references the traditional James Bond puns. Mina Harker meets Bond and, in the guise of an American actress, gives her name as "'Oodles' O'Quim". She later has a good laugh at how he didn't react at all, saying "He must meet women with names like that all the time."
  • The Mr. T comic series featured a steroid-using villain named "Stare Roy". There is not enough "wa-wa" music in the world.
  • Every major character in Dean Motter's Electropolis including: Anesta Robbins, Menlo Park, Alfred MacGuffin and Tess Lacoyle.

Films -- Animated[edit | hide]

  • The magician's heroic rabbit of Pixar's five-minute short Presto is named Alec. His stage name? Alec Azam. Said magician is himself called Presto Digiotagione, a more obscure pun on 'prestidigitation,' another word for stage magic.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas gave us Jack Skellington. Skellington is also subtly playing with Species Surname, as there are some accents that pronounces "skeleton" as "skellington". See Hot Fuzz and Stardust for examples.
  • Plenty of the characters in Cars and Cars 2 have this, such as Jay Limo, Darryl Cartrip, Jeff Gorvette, David Hobbscap, and Brent Mustangburger.
    • Befitting its globetrotter plot, the sequel expands the puns to places and things, such as Petrodilly Circus in London, the Republic of Rearendia, and the Running of the Bulldozers in Pamplona.
    • Al Oft, the Lightyear blimp.
  • Dr. Phillip Sherman, the dentist from Finding Nemo (also by Pixar) apparently has his name abbreviated as "P. Sherman." It's actually how the Filipinos pronounce the word "fisherman."
  • Cruella de Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Even disregarding the obvious puns on "cruel" and "devil", the name "de Vil" is a perfectly plausible Dutch surname - with the word "vil" being Dutch for "to skin [someone]".
  • The title character in WALL-E is both Meaningful Name and Punny; it was deliberately devised to sound like "Wally" (as evidenced by the shooting script, which can be downloaded from Pixar's site), and a "wally" is a foolish or naïve person.
  • The An American Tail series, its title itself a pun, often gives its villains punny names. The first movie had Warren T. Rat, a play on the word "warranty," and the first sequel had a villain named Cat R. Waul, after the word "caterwaul."
  • Gru from Despicable Me speaks with a Russian accent. The GRU is one of Russia's intelligence services. When the girls find Gru's underground base, he admits that he's not a dentist, but instead a secret agent.
  • Pinocchio has Jiminy Cricket (a phrase which previously was a euphemism for "Jesus Christ!", previously used in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs'), John Worthington Foulfellow, and Monstro the (horrifying) Whale.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight who is a U.S. marshal and is a man,
  • Warren Peace from Sky High, which is itself a pun. The creators went on to make Kim Possible, which also adores pun names.
    • Makes even more sense knowing that his mom was a super hero and his dad was a super villain.
  • Many of the girls in the earlier James Bond movies have names that are half Punny Name and half Double Entendre.
    • The epitome was likely Pussy Galore of Goldfinger fame.
    • Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye is a more recent example. It gets even better in the German translation, where Onatopp sounds like "ohne Top" (without a top).
    • In Casino Royale, this is briefly lampshaded. When opening an envelope containing his and the Bond Girl's assumed identities, he tells her her last name is "Broadchester." She responds with, "It is not!" Casino Royale (both book and movie) also plays it straight with Vesper Lynd (West Berlin).
    • Lampshaded in Quantum of Solace, where a girl refuses to give Bond her full name, instead identifying herself as 'Fields, just Fields'. Later we find out that her reluctance was because her first name was 'Strawberry'.
  • The Austin Powers series also parodies the James Bond Punny Names, in that odd tradition of parodying a joke. The women Austin is involved with have names like Ivana Humpalot, Alotta Fagina, Dixie Normous, Felicity Shagwell, and Robyn Swallows, maiden name Spitz ("Which is it, baby? Spitz or Swallows?"). This was also averted in the first film, where Austin's partner was Vanessa Kensington.
  • James Bond is referenced again in Hideo Kojima's insane IdeaSpy 2.5 radio drama, where the spy's old flame has the name Call Now.
  • The I Know What You Did Last Summer movies had a character called Will Benson, who near the end of the second movie reveals that he's the son of the killer...."Will, Ben's son!" he exclaims.
    • Not only that, but the killer's full name is Ben Willis.
  • In The Kentucky Fried Movie segment "A Fist Full of Yen", two of Dr. Klahn's guards were named "Hung Well" and "Long Wang". (The third henchman is just named "Enormous Genitals").
  • Heavy Metal. A greedy character is named Hanover Fist ("hand over fist", as in "making money...").
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly is a Shout-Out to the characters Marshall, Will and Holly on the 1970's children's TV show Land of the Lost.
  • Cloverfield. As any First-Person Shooter fan knows, Hud stands for Head Up Display. This is also the name of the cameraman for most of the movie.
  • "Gay" Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian. Brian's Roman father was supposedly named Nortius Maximus (which sounds like "Naughtius Maximus"), and Pilate's friend is named Biggus Dickus (with a wife named Incontinentia Buttocks). Brian's first name is not a pun, but it satirizes the trend among Jewish-American families to give their sons old-fashioned English first names such as Irving, Sherman, Ira, and George in order to "fit in". (Many of these names almost immediately became stereotyped as "Jewish names".)
  • Dr. Frank N. Furter, of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • In Back to School, the dean of Grand Lakes University is named David Martin. Get it?
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a character with the name of "Truly Scrumptious". In the stage adaptation she has two sisters named "Madly Scrumptious" and "Deeply Scrumptious" and a brother named "Seriously Scrumptious".
  • Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams - The Mix-and-Match Critters are literal spider-monkeys and cat-fish. There's also a flying pig: it is a spork (stork-pork).
  • Young Frankenstein. Frederick sent Igor to fetch a brain for his monster. There was an accident, and...

Frederick: Igor, would you mind telling me whose brain I did put in?
Igor: And you won't be angry?
Frederick: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Frederick: Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby Normal.
Frederick: Abby.. Normal.
Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name.

  • 1974's The Groove Tube, a send-up of television, featured a news report about a Vietnam-esque region with cities like Suk Muk Dik and Phuh Qu.
  • The heroine of Foul Play is named Gloria Mundy, while the villain is Rumpelstiltskin, otherwise known as "the Dwarf."
  • In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Robin Williams, playing the King of the Moon, is credited as "Ray D. Tutto," which sounds like the Italian for "king of everything."
  • Jack B. Badd in Pitch Black. Considering she chose this name, it's also invoking Awesome McCoolname. She later changes it to Kyra.
  • Roger Mortis of Dead Heat. Roger just happens to become a zombie during the course of the movie so...yeah.
  • In The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle the titular pair are joined by FBI agent Karen Sympathy.
  • General Jack D. Ripper and Soviet premier Dmitri Kissov from Dr. Strangelove.
  • In Reckless Kelly, the title character's love interest is a bank teller named Robin Banks. The pun gets explicitly pointed out when they first meet, since he's committing bank robbery at the time.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Terry Pratchett's characters, especially those in the Discworld books, often straddle the line between this and Meaningful Name.
    • For instance, the book Pyramids partially takes place in the fictional country "Djelibeybi". When he found out many Americans didn't get the joke, he invented another country in Klatch named Hersheba.
    • And then there's the capital city of Uberwald, Bad Schuschein
    • Brutha, the main character in the religion-deconstructing Small Gods, has a very appropriate name for a zealous follower. Lampshaded by Inquisitor Vorbis, when he asks how funny it would be once Novice Brutha becomes "Brother Brutha", and then "Father Brutha". He settles on just making him "Deacon Brutha".
    • Ankh Morpork's Sator Square. It can take years to get that one.
    • Played with in Making Money. Topsy Lavish doesn't have a Punny Name now, but that's because she took her husband's name when she married. Her maiden name was Topsy Turvy.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Ex Post Facto", we have a feathery head alien named Wren. "Voyager bring good teh komedy!"
  • In the Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch, we have Gard. In fact, the pun has two meanings and a twist. Hiziki Gard first appears as a Trill security officer, and jokingly comments on the coincidental translation of his phonetic name. Later, we learn that Gard is a unique symbiont whose hosts all serve the same role in Trill society- that of keeping watch for "corrupted" joinings and dealing with the Complete Monster that results. It is hinted that Gard's role is connected to Trill's history with Ancient Conspiracy the Kurlan parasites. Therefore, he is a "guard" of sorts for Trill society as well as using the cover of a literal security guard.
  • Thursday Next - Except for those characters borrowed from other works of fiction or the real world, the name of every character is some kind of pun. Notables:
    • Literary detective Paige Turner
    • Jack Schitt (And his half-brother, Brick Schitt-Hause)
    • Landen Parke-Laine (and his parents, Houson and Billden) (For Americans, the joke is that 'Parke-Laine' is the name of what Brits call 'Park Place' in Monopoly.)
    • Fictional book: The Squire Of High Potternews.
  • Shakespeare would sneak these in occasionally. Like Bottom the Weaver of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He turns into a donkey. Think about a word that can mean both "bottom" and "donkey," and you'll have it. Gotta love a Punny Name the audience has to construct for themselves! It helps that contemporary English pronunciation was closer to current day American pronunciation.
    • Leading to the "rude mechanicals" in Terry Pratchett's version having names like Carter the Weaver, Weaver the Thatcher... and one of them contributing nothing but synonyms for backside to one conversation. Beware of Terry; there is always another joke.
  • Harry Potter
    • Placenames! The street that deals in Dark magic, Knockturn Alley, plus a Grimmauld Place where an ancestral home of dark wizards is, and a Privet Drive, where wizards are not welcome.
      • Also Diagon Alley is probably taken from the word "diagonally".
    • Several of the characters' names are puns, usually an obvious reference to their personality or other trait. Dolores Umbridge. Bellatrix Lestrange.
    • Newt Scamander wrote Fantastic Creatures and Where to Find Them. His name refers to the index of his book.
    • Fleur Delacour, the French champion in the Triwizard Tournament, combines this with Bilingual Bonus, having a name which is a pun in French. Fleur de la cour means "flower of the court", meaning "noblewoman".
    • And of course, Remus Lupin. Remus, one of two founders of Rome who was raised by WOLVES. Lupin. Lupine. Lupus. Wolf. WOLVES. WOLVES. WOLVES. The best part? Almost nobody caught on until it was outright said. In the same strain, Sirius Black turns into a great BLACK dog. Sirius is the DOG star. Also, the Muggle Prime Minister once mistook Sirius' name as "Serious" Black. Several fanfictions portray Sirius as enjoying the pun and other characters as unwittingly Tempting Fate by using the word "serious" in front of him. Some of them also give some sort of Hypocritical Humor by making Sirius hate it when others make the pun.
    • Dumbledore means Bumblebee in Old English. Dumbledore walks up and down the halls, humming to himself like a bee. Truthfully, it would be easier to name what character isn't this, especially the teachers. Binns: A bin is a trash can where you put rubbish. Most people see Binns' class as rubbish. Filius Flitwick, Flitwick as in "swish and flick" to levitate an object. Another blatantly obvious one is Pomona SPROUT. Three guesses what she teaches. Slughorn: students have used stewed Horned Slugs in their potions class.
  • Peter David might be the king of Punny Names. Really, if you name the lead character in your fantasy novel series Sir Apropos of Nothing, you might want to check the novel for every single in-joke.
    • In one of his Star Trek: New Frontier novels, he reduces the engineering department (mostly human) to giggle fits over the new Bolian ensign named Pheytus (guess how it's pronounced). And then, when he eventually requests a transfer, he's replaced by an Ensign Newbourne...
    • In a Captain Mar-Vell comic, David introduced a clever fellow named Plaht, whose very useful invention was called the "Plaht Device"...
  • The villain of S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series is an expert on the Norman feudal system, where one who was entitled to a coat of arms was known as an "armiger". His name is, of course, Norman Arminger.
  • The main characters of Bored of the Rings are attacked, ambushed, assaulted and assailed by a terrifying monster called a Thesaurus. ("MAIM! Mangle, mutilate, crush! See harm.")
    • A monster of the same name can be found, encountered or happened upon in the card game Munchkin.
  • A series of novels by Berkeley Gray featured a Gentleman Thief named Norman Conquest.
  • The titular character of the Finnegan Zwake series. (If you don't get it, say it out loud.)
  • There's a goth girl named Abby Normal in Christopher Moore's book You Suck, although her "daywalker" name is Allison Green.
  • Puns are common in Games Workshop products. One of the worst comes from the novel Scourge the Heretic by Sandy Mitchell—one of the main characters is named Danuld Drake. The names are never used together.
    • He named an ice planet Simia Orichalcae - Canis Latinicus for "brass monkey".
  • Nisio Isin, the Japanese light novel writer, loves this. For example, if you take a look at Zaregoto Series, you have Tomoe Emoto, Nanami Nanananami, Kasuga Kasugai... and much more.
  • The Evil Overlord in John Moore's Heroics For Beginners is called Lord Voltmeter. It's more of a Shallow Pun on "Lord Voldemort" than a meaningful name though, since he doesn't have electric powers. He is also referred to as "He Who Must Be Named", furthering the parody. Apparently, it's dangerous to use personal pronouns when referring to him.
  • Captain Underpants:
    • Ivana Gota de'Bafroom (although this is common in her country).
    • The nerd Melvin, who gets wedgied a lot.
    • Most of the teachers.
  • Lampshaded in a Peter De Vries novel in which Claire de Lune complains of her parents' decision on naming their daughter
  • A staple of the Usborne Puzzle Adventures. Just for starters, one of the books has a city called "Mare Vellos". The Brazilian translation takes the puns even further: the same book's protagonists were named Indy, Ana and Dr. Jonas.
  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn Hand Of Thrawn Duology, and any other books in which Timothy Zahn writes Talon Karrde, Karrde picks quietly punny names for the ships in his organization. There's no overall theme, just names that can work as they first appear or as the phrases they sound like. The Wild Karrde, the Etherway, the Starry Ice, the Lastri's Ort, the Dawn Beat, the Amanda Fallow, the Uwana Buyer. Unfortunately they may have been too quiet, because when non-Zahn authors use Karrde and give him new ships, they tend to forget the puns. Some fans explain this away by saying they must be ships inherited from other smuggling organizations that Karrde's group absorbed.
    • Practically a requirement for Sith; Vader is the Dutch word for "father", in"Sidious", Tyranus, Maul, Malak (Arabic for "angel"), Revan (revanchism), Bane, and so forth.
  • Catch-22:
    • Major Major Major is an example of both this trope and a Meaningful Name; on joining the US Air Force, he's immediately promoted to Major Major Major Major.
    • Also, Dori Duz, who does. Lampshaded in the book. Most of the characters in the book are either examples of this or Meaningful Name, for example, Lieutenant Scheissekopf ("shithead" in german) and Snowden, (I'm cold....I'm cold....)
  • Just about every name in Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. A literal watchdog named 'Tock' is just one example.
  • Don Quixote: In a 17th Century pun, Quixote means "a piece of armor covering the thigh".
  • In Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, the character whom the protagonist, Newland Archer, marries is named May Welland, a marriage which we come to see "may well end" when Newland takes up with her cousin, Countess Olenska.
  • In Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, the evil ghosts of Peter Quint haunts an English manor. Before his death, Quint was known for corrupting women, so perhaps it's no coincidence that his last name, Quint, is actually an antiquated word for the female genitalia (an arcane form of the word c*nt).
  • In the German series TKKG you can find them quite often. For example the nuclear power plant "Fallaut" or "Scheich Ben Öhli" (Öl is oil in German).
  • The Kingdom Keepers has Fairlies, which are fairly human.
  • Spider Robinson: oh, lord. His only Vietnamese character with a speaking role is gratuitously named Phuc My. Two different heroes in entirely separate stories are named Jim Balzac, apparently for no other reason than to give the maximum number of readers a chance to properly appreciate the immortal line, "I'm Jim Balzac. Balz to you." The story "Did You Hear The One?" is about a time-traveling con man and a young woman named Josie Bauer, German for "farmer"; the story ends with the implication that you've just read a tall tale about a traveling salesman and (Philip José) Farmer's daughter. Les Moore (pronounced "more") and Merry Glueham (pronounced "gloom") both hate their names, so when they marry they exchange surnames.
  • C. Daly King's Golden Age mystery Obelists Fly High, set on a plane, overloads the puns. The victim is a surgeon named Cutter, the overbearing preacher is Manly Bellowes, and one of the pilots is known as "Happy" Lannings.
  • The full list from The Father Luke Wolfe Trilogy: Cyber Nettick, Randy Jokes, Lyda Lott, Burger Hamm, Hairy Rabbitt, Molly Fied (but that’s pronounced FEYE-yed), Hugh Nohs, Ben Dover, Dana Poynt, Harry Ahrmpitt, Amos Keetoh, Jimmy de Lokk, Cary Meebak, Titus Canbee, Adam Upp, Hans Sendfete, Al Kaline, Gus Zundhite, Otto Mattick, Joe Veeyul, Clay Feeht, Elmer Skloo, Gerry Attrick, Todd Lingh, Chester Rytesyze, Mike Rowfoan, Barry Pye.
  • Artemis Fowl - Artemis is the author of several books within the work, but because he is only 14 years old, he often uses hilariously punny pseudonyms. For example, Violet Tsirblou (romance novel author), Emmsey Squire (submitted several articles to physics journals and the like), and C. Niall DeMencha (same as before, but psychology journals).
  • Jasper Fforde's novel Shades of Grey has a character named Dorian. He's a Grey.
  • Professor Branestawm, in the books by Norman Hunter. Also his housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop, his military friend Colonel Deadshott, his naval friend Commander Hardaport, Dr Mumpzanmeazles, Mr Pryce-Rize the supermarket manager, etc., etc.
  • An unintentional example: Charley Bates from Oliver Twist is often referred to as "Master Bates."
  • Thomas Pynchon loves this trope. One simple example: Wendell "Mucho" Maas, the husband of protagonist Oedipa Maas from The Crying of Lot 49. Those who know a bit of Spanish might be amused. There are other, more complicated puns as well.
  • Victorian novelists often used punny names. Anthony Trollope was, perhaps, the master. My favorite is Doctor Fillgrave. But there are many others.
  • The Hunger Games has Peeta Mellark, a baker.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

Bounder: Ah, good morning. I'm Bounder Ofadventure.
Tourist: Good morning. My name is Smoketoomuch.
Bounder: What?
Tourist: Eh, my name is Smoketoomuch, Mr. Smoketoomuch.
Bounder: Well, you'd better cut down a little then.
Tourist: What?
Bounder: You'd better cut down a little then.
Tourist: Oh I see! Smoke too much, so I better cut down a little then!
Bounder: Yes... I expect you get people making jokes about your name all the time, eh?
Tourist: No, actually it never struck me before. Smoke...too...much...

  • Beakmans World had a few punny names; the short-order cook that made scientific food-based concoctions is named Art Burn, and the sportscasters in the Wide Beak-World of Sports are named Jim Shortz and Harry Pitts. There's also Beakman's family. (A brother named Meakman and Beakman's Beakmom) Not to mention Professor I. M. Boring.
  • The Super Sentai series loves these. To use a single series as an example, let's take the Ozu family from Mahou Sentai Magiranger:
    • Kai (MagiRed), main character and a fire magic user, means "first" or "leader" and is written with the Japanese character for "fire".
    • Tsubasa (MagiYellow) means "wings" and his personal creature is a Garuda.
    • Urara (MagiBlue) is the clever one of the group: her name means "bright" and is a pun on "Uranai"- meaning fortune-telling- which happens to be her talent.
    • Houka (MagiPink) is The Chick of the group and her name means "fragrance".
    • Makito (MagiGreen) is a user of earth-based magic, as well as a farmer (turns out his farm is the sole source of income for that Big Fancy House, in fact.) His name means "sower," and "Maki" refers to the firewood used for kindling, linking him to wood as well.
    • Finally, take the first syllable of each sibling's name and arrange them in the order of oldest to youngest (Makito, Houka, Urara, Tsubasa, Kai) and you get "Mahoutsukai," which is Japanese for "magician". That's not all of the puns in this one series, and every Sentai series is full of naming puns like this.
    • They are all technically "Ozu no Mahotsukai", or "Wizard(s) of Oz".
  • iCarly: Spencer's friend, Socko, makes cool, light-up socks. His hierarchy of relatives is a Hurricane of Puns of names related to their jobs: His brother, Tyler (tie maker); His cousins Rob (thief), Taylor (tailor), Penny (the Penny Tees creator) and Isaac (optometrist); His uncles Otto (used car dealer) and Dr. Paxil (psychologist); and Freight Dog (air freight forwarder).
  • LazyTown has Robbie Rotten.
  • Rusty Nails, an old children's tv show entertainer and the inspiration for Krusty The Clown.
  • An episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit had a minor character: a forensic dentist named "Noah Caine".
  • The Father Ted episode "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep" has three villains named Hud, Giant and Fargo, after movies. The episode title is itself a pun, on the 1970 hit single Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.
  • The Hekawi Indians in F Troop supposedly got their name from an incident in which they got lost, fell off a cliff, then exclaimed, "We're the Hekawi!" ("Where the heck are we?!") Legend has it that the writers wanted to name the tribe the "Fukawi." But, considering that that last pun is based on a word that can't be said on network television even now, it's not surprising that it quietly bit the dust four decades ago.
    • However, Johnny Carson used the Fugawi Indians, leaving it to the audience to get the pun (they always did).
  • Miles Straume (Maelstrom) on Lost.
    • The writers have claimed they purposely named him that way because they thought it would be "cool."
      • Specifically, showrunner Carlton Cuse wanted to have a character whose name sounded like the word "Maelstrom" from the first season.
    • As well as Jack's Dad, Christian Shephard. Lampshaded in the Grand Finale:

Kate: Who died?
Desmond: A man named Christian Shephard.
Kate: Christian Shephard? Seriously?
Desmond: Seriously.

      • There's David Shephard too.
  • Law and Order did this with EADA Michael Cutter. In baseball, the cutter is a variation of the fastball, the most basic pitch in the game. Cutter keeps a bat in his office, routinely using it to prepare for a trial.
  • Reba has Brock Enrol (rock-n-roll) Hart. Strangely enough, he's a dentist, not a musician.
  • Doctor Who, of course, introduced a robot dog named "K9".
  • Alien Nation delighted in giving the Newcomers human names based on puns: Norman Conquest, Harley Davidson, Polly Wannakraker...
  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes had main antagonist Molly Hardy, which is a pun on "Moriarty"—as in Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' Big Bad.
  • The Australian eponymous comedy series, Jimeon had a segment featuring the Martyr brothers, Stig and Tom. Both acted in a predictably martyred fashion.
  • In Angel, Gwen Raiden has this as well as a Meaningful Name. She controls lightning and Raiden is a Japanese god of Thunder and Lightning. She's also a thief, and her name is a pun on "Gone Raiding".
  • The newsanchor from Dinosaurs is named Howard Handupme. As in "he's a hand puppet, and therefore there's a hand holding up his body."
  • A recurring villain in the RoboCop live-action show was Mad Scientist Cray Mallardo. When read from a personnel file, his name is Mallardo, Cray Z, Dr.
  • Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, like the computer game series that started the franchise, has a few of these. Particularly notable is Patty Larseny.
  • In full effect in Good Eats, with such episode titles as "Quantum Foam" (Angel food cake), itself the fifth episode of the "Egg Files" series.
  • In Ikeman Desu Ne, the Japanese remake of the Korean Drama You're Beautiful, the twins are named Mio and Miko which are written as Beautiful Man and Beautiful Child respectfully. Considering the show is about hotties and Mio's ambition to become an idol, it gives his name a double meaning. Additionally, Miko is studying to be a nun at the start of the show making her name also very punny, although that may not have been intentional.
  • In "House Arrest", an episode of The Sopranos, Uncle Junior, who's in the hospital, is put under house arrest by U.S. Marshal Michael McLuhan. After he introduces himself to Uncle Junior, there's another minute of conversation before the nurse gets it; "You're Marshall McLuhan?"
  • In Arrested Development, the family attorney's name is Bob Loblaw. He also runs a blog called The Bob Loblaw Law Blog.
  • Brittany S. Pierce from Glee.
  • In a Saturday Night Live sketch, a Homeland Security spokesperson talks to a group of reporters: "In the past few weeks, through our national hotline, we have collected hundreds of names of suspected terrorists, and I'm proud to say that most of the calls have come from high school and college students nationwide. In fact, we received over 475 calls alone regarding this man: M'Balz Es-Hari. We also received information on such nefarious terrorists such as Graabir Boubi, and Haid D'Salaami and.. let this be a message to you, Haid D'Salaami: we will not play your dangerous games. We are also currently searching for a man we believe to be an Al Queda lieutenant: Hous Bin Pharteen, his cousin I-Bin Pharteen, and their close companion I-Zheet M'Drurz."


Music[edit | hide]

  • Voltaire's Card-Carrying Villain song "When You're Evil" has this duo: "To the gentlemen I'm Miss Fortune, to the ladies I'm Sir Prize..."
  • The Beatles were in equal parts a pun on Buddy Holly's Crickets, and on "beat".
  • A housemate of the Doobie Brothers noted the guys' fondness for "doobies" - a slang term for marijuana cigarettes, which gave them the name.
  • Bloc Party was named from the term block party, a large public party where everyone in a neighbourhood gets together.
    • Extra punny given that a bloc is "a group of persons, businesses, etc., united for a particular purpose", often centered around politics (which is also true of Bloc Party's lyrics).
  • The Zarsoff Brothers', whose first names included Rocky and Izzy, among others.
  • Sting was named for the yellow and brown striped jumper he used to wear.
  • Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, who hails from a state that has quite a few...dusty hills. The band's drummer Frank Beard, who happens to be the only member of the band without said facial hair.
  • One of the many Initial D eurobeat songs is entitled Express Love, which is a play on the word express. The singer laments that he was suckered into express (quick) love, but he wants his lover to express (show) love.
  • Alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven is a punny portmanteau of the phrases "camper van" and "Ludwig van Beethoven."
  • Autechre's Untilted album, a play on "untitled".
  • The title of Vocaloid song Rainbow Girl seems like Word Salad Title, but "rainbow" is niji in Japanese, which is also a shortening of nijigen - literally "2D", it is a slang term for Moe anime and other forms of media (such as video games) that are drawn in similar style, and girls who appear in them.
  • German example: the stage name of the lead singer of the German punk rock band Die Arzte is Farin Urlaub, which is a pun on fahr in Urlaub, meaning "go on vacation."
  • Rapper Flo Rida's stage name is a pun on his home state of Florida and hip-hop slang ("flow" also referring rap ability.)
  • Two tribute bands have this approach:
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers album Californication.
  • Madonna's latest album, MDNA, is either a pun on the abbreviation for mitochondrial DNA, or MDMA, the scientific name for the drug Ecstasy.
  • Found liberally sprinkled throughout Doodles Weaver's race commentary in Spike Jones's version of The William Tell Overture, and usually Lampshaded:

...Into the back stretch, Dog Biscuit is now leading the pack; Lady Evelyn is second, very close; Banana is coming up through the bunch...
...At the half, Stooge Hand still out on front, Apartment House is second with plenty of room, Assault is passing Battery...

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Snoopy in Peanuts fills his stories with punny character names such as Kitten Kaboodle. His names are considerably more clever than his stories.
  • Dick Tracy: The title character's name. One storyline included the characters Chris Chendo, Virgil Ohso, and Phil Harmonic. Guess where the action is taking place.
  • Popeye - The Oyl Family: Olive, her brother Castor, parents Cole and Nana...
  • Rick O'Shay centered around the title character, a deputy sheriff in the Old West.
  • Kudzu - Rev. Will B. Dunn.
  • Funky Winkerbean - Whoo boy. The original cast was completely dominated by Punny Names. Considering what the strip has evolved into since 1992, they all qualify as unfortunate names now - or even funny aneurysms. Among them:

Print Media[edit | hide]

  • Private Eye currently has a section of its letters section devoted to made-up punny names. This dates back at least to shortly after Bloody Sunday, when they printed a number of obviously-made-up letters about the atrocity, nearly identically worded and all including the phrase "But we all know who is to blame —". One blamed "IRA gunmen"; the "author" was a Mrs. Ira Gunman.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • It is fairly common for Pro Wrestlers to use punny ring names. It should be noted that the punny names listed below tended to be from the early and mid-1990s, which is regarded as a Dork Age by many wrestling fans. Notable examples include:
    • Justin Credible
    • Dr. Isaac Yankem (a wrestling dentist from Decatur, Illinois)
    • Irwin R. Schyster (IRS, a wrestling tax inspector)
    • Hugh Morrus (who later changed his name to Hugh G. Rection, claiming that WCW management had given him the name 'Morrus' to make him look stupid. No, really.) (he did eventually get to use his real non-punny name in the WWE Bill DeMott)
    • The Undertaker's manager, Paul Bearer.
  • Punny names in the post-Attitude Era are toned tone a bit.
    • Kane, which is a homophone for Cain and Abel, who was also a vindictive brother in The Bible.
    • Lita, short for "Lolita". Bit of a sell-by date on that one.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • The Bob and Tom Show - The "Paging Richard Smoker" segment is an "adult" example of punny names with the prank call motif.
  • Staple of radio show Car Talk, which has a fictional production staff consisting almost entirely of bad puns such as their Russian meter feeder Nikolai Putin (Nickle I Put in) or resident single mother Erasmus B. Dragon (Her ass must be draggin'). The Chief Legal Counsel for the show is Hugh Louis Dewey (aka Hughie Louie Dewey) of the notorious firm of Dewey, Cheetham and Howe. Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the creators and hosts of Car Talk, so love this Punny Name that they named their production company "Dewey, Cheetham and Howe" (the window of the DC and H corporate offices, at the corner of Brattle and JFK Streets, are a source of constant amusement to residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts).
  • Back when W00t Radio still did live shows, even the autoplay list had its own DJ. His name? Otto Plair.
  • A Prairie Home Companion - When Garrison Keillor is the only writer, Sarah Bellum will be the only credited writer, referring to Gary's brain. Norman Conquest has also been credited occasionally.
  • The Goon Show: plenty, most notably General Kashmychek and Justin Eidelburger ("Just an Idle Bugger"). Hugh Jampton is a crossover between this trope and Getting Crap Past the Radar; think of it in terms of Hugh Jass. For non-Brits: It's an example of rhyming slang where the rhyming syllable was later removed. Here Hampton Wick—meaning prick—is being shortened to Hampton then disguised as Jampton, then amplified by Hugh(ge)!
  • During The Seventies, New Jersey radio station WOBM (92.7 FM) had a (male) helicopter traffic reporter who went by the name "'Pearly' Gates".
  • Public radio comedy team Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre named their first (and only) recording Born to be Tiled.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The names of most items and monsters in the card game Munchkin are punny names.
    • Two of the better examples are the Broad Sword, a weapon only female players could use, and its counterpart the Gentleman's Club, which only men could use.
  • In the fantasy Tabletop RPG supplement Citybook III, the House of Infinite Dreams bordello has a major-domo named Haakon Slash ("hack and slash").
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • In the Eisenhorn trilogy, one of the Daemonhosts is called Prophaniti.
    • Angron and An'ggrath, respectively the Daemon Prince primarch of the World Eaters and the Lord of Bloodthirsters (Khorne's Greater Daemons), noted for their unbridled rage.
    • Kharn the Betrayer, whose name is derived from the Arabic word for "betrayer"
  • One of the supplementary books for the old d6 Star Wars RPG has a vignette about a ship being captured by pirates. As the ship is being drawn into the pirates' vessel, the captain notices something and begins laughing, to the puzzlement of his crew. The pirate ship drawing them in is called the 'Harmzwuay'. Yes, the ship was in 'harm's way'.
  • Magic the Gathering - some cards have punny names
    • Apes of Rath.
    • One card name made punny by its flavor text: Goblin Offensive. They certainly are.
    • Double-sided cards which do two different things depending on which "side" you play are named after common phrases. There's "Dead // Gone" and "Assault // Battery" among others. One of the comedy sets takes this even further with "Who // What // Where // When // Why".
    • Two-Headed Giant of Foriys is an early example.
    • The cards of the joke sets Unglued and Unhinged.
    • Perhaps not necessarily a punny name, but we do have the character Mangara, whose name is an anagram...of "anagram".
  • Warhammer Fantasy - Lizardman names are often Incredibly Lame Puns on real words, such as the names of foods: Xilicuncani (chili con carne), Xhilipepa (chili pepper), Manquoxutni (mango chutney). At least they're getting (slightly) better- Skink Priest Tehenhauin (two in one) used to be called Tini-huini, and was originally introduced alongside Itzi-Bitzi and Tiktaqto.
  • The World's Easiest Role Playing System, A.K.A. TWERPS, was a game that took this to Hurricane of Puns levels for various characters.
  • These are often chosen for character names in Paranoia.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The musical Urinetown has the toilet-monopolizing Urine Good Company.
  • In the musical On the Town, Claire's full name is Claire De Loone. John Offenblock is known to all by his nickname, Chip. Mr. Uperman, Hildy's boss, is identified by the back of his jacket as "S. Uperman."


Toys[edit | hide]

  • There are these plush toys called "Mushabellies" which are fat, cuddly plush animals that chatter when you squeeze (mush) their stomachs (the bigger ones however make a funny fart-like sound known as grumbling when you squeeze them).
  • Many Ty plush toys. Some have a Meaningful Name, too.
  • Some Transformers, such as Sea Clamp, Spinister, Jhiaxus, and Tentakil, wind up with pun names. At its worst, it's truly Horri-Bull, and that makes us Fangry.
    • In Beast Wars, most characters were given names that suited their animal modes. The munky is Optimus Primal, the cheetah is Cheetor, Blackarachnia is a (mostly) black arachnid, the pterosaur is Terrorsaur, etc.
  • Often done by Larry Hama in the civilian names of G.I. Joe action figures. Examples include an Arctic trooper named Farley Seward and a Hovercraft pilot named Skip A. Stone.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Remedy Entertainment games give us:
  • The Ace Attorney series have a ton of pun-filled names: Dick Gumshoe, Penny Nichols, Will Powers, Jack Hammer, Sal Manella, Ben & Trillo Quist, Winston Payne, Laurence "Moe" Curls, etc. This is even lampshaded in the first case, when if you call Cindy Stone (the victim) Cinder Block, the judge points out how bad a pun it was. The puns are evident, if not quite as blatant, in the original Gyakuten Saiban games - the names translate into a phrase that describes the character; the creators said it began with two characters in the first game's second case (the characters known in English as April May and Redd White) and gained steam from there.
    • ...right, Mr. Wright?
      • Phoenix Wright seems to be aware of this when he tells a joke:

Phoenix: Why am I a good defense attorney? Because I'm "wright" all the time.

      • Carries all the way into the credits.

Judge: What was his name again? Mr. Left?

      • In the Japanese version, they also have punny names of sorts, Wright's Japanese name is "Ryuichi Naruhodo" ("naruhodo" meaning "I see"); Winston Payne is called "Takefumi Auchi" (possibly a pun on "Ouch!"); von Karma's last name in Japanese (Karuma) means "hunting evil", possibly giving a reference to He Who Fights Monsters, and Karuma Mei (Franziska von Karma) literally translates to "Hunting Evil Hades", a reference to how far she will go to fulfill her idea of justice.
    • They also make fun of this a lot in Apollo Justice. For example, Olga Orly straight out says that her name "sounds like Oh really" and Trucy points out at one point that Pal Meraktis sounds a lot like Malpractice.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's companion Tails has the given name of Miles Prower, a pun on "miles per hour". Dr. Ivo Robotnik also has an unfortunate punny name when his nickname, Eggman, is used ("Ivo" is a reverse of "Ovi", the Latin root for "egg"). The word "robotnik" is Polish for "worker", but whether this was intentional is unknown; it's found in that context in Twilight 2000 (set in post-WWIII Poland).
    • There's also "Cream the Rabbit".
      • ...who has a Chao partner named Cheese, and her mother is named Vanella.
    • And also Rouge the Bat, whose name is a pun on Baton Rouge.
  • Carmen Sandiego - Every member of V.I.L.E. has a pun for a name, except Carmen. Examples over the course of the series include
    • Sarah Nade, Russ T. Hinge, and Mylar Naugahyde.
    • Avery "Little Bit" Phelps, Sarah "Auntie" Bellum (a rare multi-layer pun)
    • Justin Case, and Verna-Lee Kwinox.
    • the Ding brothers, Lee and Bill.
    • One Master of Disguise is named Frank M. Poster.
Not that the good guys are any less punny:
    • Ann Tickwittee, Ivan Idea.
    • Dee Plomassy and the very subtle Rock Solid.
  • Kingdom of Loathing - This web-based MMORPG is packed with puns.
    • The tutorial is given by a bird called the Toot Oriole.
    • Orc Chasm. Say it a few times fast and you will understand.
    • Other examples include Degrassi Knoll, John Wilke's Booth, the Malus of Forethought, The Armory and Leggery, the Worm Wood, the Palindome, and the Knob Goblins. The Armory and Leggery is run by two guys who have neither. *snrk*
  • The Sims - Nearly all characters in the GBA games have punny names, such as Sue Pirnova, Polly Nomial, Mel Odious, and Ewan Whatamee.
  • On the note of "Sim" games, SimCity is quite full of these. Byallmeans Travel Agency, Deadforest Paper, Pump & Scoot Gas, Curtin Fabrics, and some odd others that weren't named after creators of the game.
  • Oh man, The Sims 3... nearly every sim has a punny name, the most well-known being Gobias Koffi.
  • Carmageddon - Most of the enemy drivers in this racing/fighting game were very crude puns, the most memorable being "Mike Hunt". There are in fact 561 Michael Hunts in the UK, meaning 561 sets of parents who didn't think of the possible implications; the same site also shows 74 Richard Heads.
  • Phantasy Star II - Rich thief, Shir Gold. She refers to herself as "Shir of the Wind".
  • In Paper Mario, many of the Toads' names end in "T.", providing a treasure trove of "-ty" puns. For example: Vanna T., Chuck Quizmo's assistant; Tayce T., the local chef of Toad Town; & Fice T., the guard to the entrance of Forever Forest.
    • There is a miniboss in the form of a gigantic Koopa in incongruous Nerd Glasses - his name is Kent C. Koopa.
  • Quest for Glory IV - The gnomish jester, Punny Bones, in this adventure/rpg hybrid. In fact, most of the character's jokes consisted of really bad puns. Other gnomes include the innkeeper Ann Agrama from the fifth game and the wizard Keapon Laffin from the second.
  • EarthBound
    • Earthbound Zero featured Ninten, referring to the system it was released on.
    • EarthBound featured Ness, an anagram of the system (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) it was released on.
    • Everdred, who was "connected" to kidnappings in Twoson.
    • The four major towns in Earthbound: Onett, Twoson, Threed and Fourside, in that order.
    • Mother 3 - The name of Porky's "utopian" city is New Pork City. Ouch. Sadly Lost in Translation: both games have friendly aliens from the planet Saturn—but as the Japanese word for Saturn also can mean "same name" in different context, all of the aliens are named the same - Mr. Saturn/Mr. Same Name.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has several examples. Many enemies in original Mega Man series often have punny names, often with Bilingual Bonus.
  • Every named outlaw in Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath has either a punny name, or a really bizarre nickname. They range from the fairly normal (Lootin Duke), the descriptive (Xplosives McGee), the punny (Jo' Mamma), and the unfortunate (Fatty McBoomboom). In fact, nearly every named character in the game except Sekto has a Meaningful Name, a Punny Name, or a combination of the two. (Stranger's real name is never revealed, unless his name actually is Stranger. Doc appears to be a nickname as well).
  • EVE Online - The unfortunately named Thukker Tribe.
  • In Mass Effect, quarians have a first and last name, as well as a name that indicates which ship they serve on (Tali'Zorah vas Neema serves on the Neema). In Mass Effect 2, Tali'Zorah will introduce Shepard to one of the quarian Admirals, Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib. Upon inquiry about the whimsical ship name, Koris will say he has considered transferring to a ship with a more honorable name, such as the Defrahnz or the Iktomi. That would make him Zaal'Koris vas Defrahnz or vas Iktomi.
    • When infiltrating the estate of an arms merchant on Bekenstein, Kasumi has Shepard use the alias "Solomon Gunn," which sounds like "sell him a gun" when said fast.
  • Wario Land: The first two games had the same main female antagonist: Captain Syrup. Her return in the sequel reveals her first name: Maple.
  • Wario Land: Shake It!
    • The Shake King, and the bosses Hot Roderick, Bloomsday/Scumflower, and Large Fry.
    • The level Its-all Mine. A fitting level name considering Wario's obsession for treasure.
  • The siren in Siren is a borderline case, as it's a siren in the sense of "supernatural creature whose sound lures people to their death at sea", and it happens to sound like an air raid siren.
  • The monsters in the new localizations of Dragon Quest are just swimming with these. For example: the opponents Alena faces in Dragon Quest IV's Inevitable Tournament are, in order, Atilla the Hunk, Quick Draw McGore, Prima Donna, Samson Knight, and the Abominable Showman.
    • Really, everything - be it enemy, location, item or person - in the games. It wasn't taken to the extreme until the eighth game. Let's hope you can handle it, otherwise this franchise is not for you.
  • Pokémon: Damn near every Pokémon has a pun somewhere in its name relating somehow to its appearance, type, or behavior. While most are fairly direct and simple, some are quite clever and work on multiple levels...and are multilingual.
      • Sometimes, you don't even have to be multilingual. In Japan, there's a 5th-generation Pokémon called Giaru (gear; the Pokémon in question is known as Klinklang in English). You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what it looks like, either.
    • Many of the Gym Leaders, too. In Generation I, examples include Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Sabrina (a Trainer of Psychic Pokémon, which may be a reference to another Sabrina), Blaine (similar to blaze; he uses strictly Fire Pokémon), and Giovanni (incorporates geo, the Greek prefix meaning "earth").
      • Also, Giovanni is a mafia don, making him... Don Giovanni.
    • In Generation II, there was bird-using gym leader Falkner ("falconer" or "fowl"), bug-user Bugsy, Whitney (uses normal Pokémon; normal Pokémon use the white color scheme in the TCG), ghost-user Morty (mort is French for "death"), Fighting-type leader Chuck (remind you of another famous Chuck Norris?) and there's finally ice user Pryce (rhymes with "ice").
    • Generation III even had the rock user Roxanne, Fighting-type Pokémon user Brawly, electric user Wattson (watts are a measurement of electricity), Fire user Flannery (sounds like "flame"), Normal-type user Norman (almost the word "normal"), bird user Winona (wind/wing), and Psychic users Liza and Tate (sounds like levitate). Really, it's rarer for a Pokémon gym leader to not have a punny name.
    • Full list up to Generation IV: Brock, Misty, Lt Surge, Erika (Erica is a genus of heathers), Koga (Koga-ryu is a school of ninjitsu), Sabrina (as noted above), Blaine (as noted above), Giovanni, Falkner (archaic term for falconer), Bugsy, Whit(e)ney, Morty, Chuck Norris, Jasmine, Pryce, Clair, Janine (reverse the syllables and you get ninja), Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, Flannery (also Gaelic for 'red eyebrow', according to bulbapedia), Norman, Win(d/g)ona, Liza&Tate (levitate), Wallace (sounds vaguely like water), Juan (again, sounds vaguely like water), Roark (ore, also similar to rock), Gardenia, Maylene (melee), Crasher Wake, Fantina (phantom), Byron, Candice, and Vol(t)kner. Typically, expect punny names to accompany new Gym Leaders.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, we get Cilan, Chili, and Cress (all foods that are like their type-Chili is fire type, for example), Lenora (from 'Normal' -- her type), Burgh ("Bug"), Elesa (from Tesla-she's electric), Clay the Ground Leader, Skyla (guess her type; and may reference skylarks), Brycen (Ice), and dragon Trainers Drayden & Iris (Drayden from 'Drake' or 'Dragon', and Iris after the flower Flaming Dragon Iris).
    • With the player characters:
      • There's Haruka (May), which means "far away", which relates to Norman's Japanese name, Senri, which is 1000 li (a unit of measurement).
      • Lucas, which comes from lux-lucis, the Latin root word for light.
      • Lyra, which comes from lyre.
      • Their Japanese names, too, with Kouki from the word for brightness.
      • Hikari meaning light.
      • The default names for the characters are rather punny. Landon/Terra or Sean/Marina in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Emerald, however, didn't capitalize on names such as Skyler/Skye for its sky-based theme.
  • Infocom used to publish a newsletter titled The New Zork Times.
  • The various Final Fantasy Chocobo side games have a pair of recurring characters; a White Mage named "Shiroma" and a Black Mage "Kuroma." These are obvious abbreviations of "Shiro Madoushi" (White Mage in Japanese), and "Kuro Madoushi" (Black Mage in Japanese). Unfortunately, recent translations have tended to rendering their names as "Shirma" and "Croma." Although these are technically acceptable romanizations, they kill the joke—failing to either translate it, or retain it as-is.
  • In Gitaroo Man, the main character is named U-1. In Japanese his name would be pronounced U-Ichi, and Yuichi is a common name for boys in Japan. In English: "You Won."
  • Drone Tactics - All of the named Drones have punny names; most of them are fairly obvious if you understand Japanese or have a good dictionary on hand:
    • Stag Beetle Drone A-Geeto = Agito = alternate reading of the kanji for "jaw"
    • Firefly Drone Hicar-E = Hikari = Light
    • Rhinoceros Beetle Drone K-Buto = Kabuto = Kabutomushi = Rhinoceros Beetle or, literally, "Helmet Insect"
    • Snail Drone Dor-O = Doro = Dorodoro = Syrupy (best guess; this one is fairly obscure).
    • Y-Ite is most likely a pun on the english word WHITE. Pronounce the Y and Ite separately and out comes White. This name probably refers to the owner's clothes and the fact that the butterfly drone is white to begin with.
    • The real mystery are the other drones, such as Kris-T for moth, R-Nej for centipede(carnage?), Nhyte-R for spider, and whatever the Roach and Dragonfly was called has names that didn't make sense.
      • Well, Kris-T is obviously Christy, R-Nej probable is Carnage, and the Spider would, barring an obscure Japanese word, either Nighter (as in All-nighter) or "Knight R". How these are relevant is the question.
  • Okami (with a long "O" at the beginning) can mean, depending on the kanji used to spell it, "wolf" or "great god." Naturally, the main character is an extremely powerful goddess incarnated as a wolf.
    • "Kami" can also mean "paper". Guess which game uses writing sacred symbols as a key mechanic?
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has Lenny the lyrebird. Guess who you shouldn't listen to in his level.
  • Rise of the Triad has a player character named I. P. Freeley.
  • Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden has the one way love interest of Charles Barkley named Juwanna Mann. The character may also be named for the 2002 movie Juwanna Mann, which features a male protagonist posing as a woman in the WNBA.
  • Touhou names are often some form of pun, or otherwise Meaningful Names, relying on the odd rules of the Japanese language. Were-Hakutaku Keine Kamishirasawa, for example, the kanji characters for Keine can mean "Wise sound" while Kamishirasawa literally means "Upper stream of a white valley." However, the Kamishirasawa kanji can be read as "ue-hakutaku" and so likely a pun by ZUN when he named the "Were-Hakutaku" character.
  • Medic Herbert East in Operation Darkness is an obvious reference (in function as well as name) to H.P. Lovecraft's story Herbert West: Re-Animator. Note that this is only a Punny Name in the Western release; in the Japanese version, he was named Herbert West.
  • Backyard Hockey has Buddy Cheque, a play on "body check." Backyard Skateboarding has Erik Stream, a play on "air extreme." Backyard Football has Chuck Downfield, a pun on chucking the football downfield. Notice a trend?
  • RuneScape has numerous characters with punny names. Some examples include white knights and some druids.
    • Two such examples are Kaqemeex and Pikkupstix.
  • Mr. Write from The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening, who is essentially a cameo of Mr. Wright, the advisor character from the SNES SimCity. Mr. Write's name is a play on "Mr. Wright", and the word "write", as he frequently writes letters. The character, "Dr. Left" from Oracle of Seasons and Minish Cap takes this further, with a name that is not only a play on the previous two names, but on the word "right" too.
    • The Zelda series includes more characters with pun names. Further examples include the witch Syrup and her disciple Maple, fairy brother and sister pair named Tatl and Tael, and even Link himself (his name indicates that he is a link between the game and the player).
      • Link's name is also related to the fact that "links" is the German for "left", and Link is left-handed in every game so far apart from Twilight Princess on Wii.
        • I believe that Link's name is a reference to how he is like a "link" to the player actually. I believe Miyamoto said this.
    • Spirit Tracks is the biggest offender - practically all major characters, inluding the villains, have train-related names. A few examples, Cole, Ferrus (latin word for iron, ferrum), and Anjean, Rael and Steem of the Lokomo (Locomotive) tribe.
  • Dofus has more than its share of puns in the class names. Every class name is meaningful, and most are puns, such as the time mage class, Xelor (Rolex backwards), and Eniripsa, the healer class (Aspirin backwards). Some are just silly such as the Iops (Named after a brand of yogurt).
  • Ratchet and Clank has Slim Cognito, a man who deals with weapons of questionable legality, and Emperor Otto DeStruct, the Big Bad of Size Matters
  • Plants vs. Zombies has a lot of these. Your seeds come from the Bloom and Doom Seed Co. Then you have plants with names such as Peashooter, Repeater, Wall Nut, and Cherry Bomb. The Doom Shroom makes a mushroom cloud when you use it. Pop Cap clearly had a lot of fun naming stuff in this game.
  • Hakumen from BlazBlue. It's Japanese for white noodles, leading to this image.
  • Magical Starsign has a town full of Pyrites with Punny names, like Nun Toobrite and Tawks Lykeahippy, that represent how they talk.
  • One of the minor side characters in Ultima VII is a talking fox with no sense of tact whatsoever - he always speaks his mind, no matter how insulting what he says is. His name is Frank.
  • Forum Warz uses punny names regularly, both as the name of missions and name of forums the player must pwn.
  • Supreme Commander 2 has some shameless ones for some of the units of the Illuminate faction:
    • Fighter-Bomber: Weedoboth
    • Mobile Missile Launcher: Fisttosh
    • Experimental Multiple-Drone-Tank: Wylfindya
    • Experimental Anti-Air: Airnomo
    • Experimental Vortex Generator: Pullensmash
    • And from the DLC:
      • Sniper Bot: Shotja
      • Experimental Gunship: Zooprizer
  • Most characters in Amateur Surgeon and its sequel. The protagonists are Alan Probe (anal probe) and Ignacius Bleed (I. Bleed). According to the sequel, when Probe becomes a legitimate doctor they open hospitals called Bleed Everywhere. Some of their patients qualify as well - for instance, the suspicious Trent Coat and the slimy, insect-filled Dwayne Pipe.
  • Many characters in the Monkey Island series, such as Governor Phatt, the portly ruler of Phatt Island, from Monkey Island 2 Le Chucks Revenge.
  • Inazuma Eleven is chock full of both this trope and Meaningful Name. For example, Endou Mamoru (円堂守) is a pun on "endo o mamoru" (エンドを守る), which means "to defend the end" ("end" being in the soccer jargon sense). Being a talented goalkeeper, that's exactly what Endou does.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII there is a "hidden pun" in Lightning's real name; Clair, Éclair being the french word for Lightning.
  • Konami in the NES era was shamelessly replete with puns when naming enemy mooks in their English instruction manuals. Among many, many others, The Adventures of Bayou Billy had Tolouse L'Attack, Legend of the Mystical Ninja had Tanaka U. Out, and Super C had a giant mouth monster named Lip O' Suction.
    • In Silent Scope (released in 1999), the final boss, who was guarding the President, was called "Monica the Armed Secretary".
  • All over the place in Eagle Eye Mysteries, usually connected to the characters' occupations. For example, Mr. Minas in the first game is a math teacher.
  • Punch-Out!! has characters like Glass Joe ("glass jaw"), Soda Popinski (or Vodka Drunkenski), Bear Hugger (some people do go by the name "Bear"), and Narcis Prince.
  • Konami has an official YouTube channel, called Konami573ch. The pun is on 573, which are taken from the Japanese numbers.
    • Konami's in-house music artists are also fond of giving their works the occasional punny title. For example:
      • .59 - "point-five-nine" is pronounced "ten-go-ku" in Japanese; "tengoku" means "heaven".
      • QQQ - "three" is "san" in Japanese, thus "three-Q" is "san-Q", which sounds like "thank you".
  • City of Heroes actually had quire a few examples. Not counting player names:
    • Paragon City's greatest champion is also the superheroic community's statesman.
    • One of the game's most infamous villains holds lordship over his own steampunk army. He is also a "nemesis" to just about everybody, hero or villain.
    • One of Lord Recluse's generals happens to be a shark-man who named himself after the mako shark while captain of a small pirate vessel.
    • The name of the giant monster/archvillain at the heart of the Rikti Mothership was "U'kon G'rai" -- "You con gray", meaning you're so below his level that you register as no threat at all.
    • A lot of badges had theses as titles. That's not to mention a few of their descriptions, which can be just as punny.
  • I.M. Meen.
  • In the Parodius series, the stick-figure characters Koitsu, Soitsu, Aitsu and Doitsu have names which read in Japanese as "this guy," "that guy," "that other guy" and "what guy?"
  • The MMORPG Wizard 101 has a few punny names, such as Chester Droors and Kelvin the Ice Tree.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Ragnarok Wisdom makes one at the expense of Ragnarok Online's character transfer service, where characters can be transferred from one server to another. If a character with the same name already exists, they'll have a suffix added to their name; someone transferring from Sakray would, for example, have "_Sak" added. And this comic... had the character... I Love My Nut with the same name as someone on Sakray...
  • Cher Lita Harper (from Cheer! and The Wotch) is a pun on "cheerleader".
    • By the way, her name as a male was Sonny making her "Sonny & Cher".
  • In one of the Bruno the Bandit comics, a powerful demon named "Baeshan" appears. Wouldn't be that bad, if his evil followers wouldn't call him "master".
  • Several of the character names in Erfworld are puns (e.g. "Jillian Zamussels" - "jillions of muscles")
  • One reader of El Goonish Shive pointed out an unintentional pun on Shive's part with the name Tedd D. Verres (for certain pronunciations of Verres anyway). Appropriate, considering Grace's love of stuffed animals.
  • Penny Arcade has a recurring newscaster named Randy Pinkwood, if you know what I'm talking about. And I think you know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about his penis.
  • Epidemic in the Walkyverse - Whitney Howard Lesse is witless, Ruth Lesse is ruthless, Dick Lesse is cuckolded freely, Leslie Bean is a lesbian, Sydney Yus is not actually insidious, Dick P. Johnson...no comment, and Dina Sarazu is...um...a scientist (specifically, a paleontologist by training).
    • A subtler one is Faz O. Lee, named for a certain fast food chain who had an ad campaign featuring a kid with an infuriatingly smug grin similar to Faz's own. Not so subtle is Alan, who's an Alien.
    • One of the recurring customers in Shortpacked is Hughes Assat.
  • Crazy dictator Klaus Der Phobia in Building 12.
  • Derek Ulysses Law, the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire from TRU-Life Adventures.
  • Almost every character in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. Examples: Hibachi the dragon, Princess Voluptua, Agent Ben and Agent Jerry, Heywood J. Lookathat, Fructose Riboflavin, O. Blivius Bystander, Roofus the roof-repair robot, Mrs. Spitoonelli, Mr. Kreplach, etc. etc. etc.
  • Also used frequently in Everyday Heroes ... so frequently that they need a separate page.
  • Mina's partner in Magical Mina is a stuffed fox named Mulder.
  • In Octopus Pie, the main character and her brother were named Everest and Rushmore ("Eve" and "Mor" for short). Since their last name is "Ning", that makes them Eve Ning and Mor Ning. Also, Eve's mother is Dawn Ning.
  • The KAMics - Pops up from time to time. Ironically the Pun Police all have a Punny Name.
  • From Dominic Deegan we have Professor Runcible Spoon. A "Runcible Spoon" is a spork. Runcible is also a rather "spoony" man, though not a bard.
  • Suicide for Hire gives us a Romeo and Juliet Shout-Out with Tybalt and Rosaline Montlet. Their relationship ends about as well as that of their inspiration, though for different reasons. Also, Tybalt is a cat, in a reference to Shakespeare's Tybalt being referred to as "Prince of Cats". When he asks Hunter what he wants, Hunter responds with "Good King of Cats, nothing but all of your nine lives!"
  • Questionable Content gives us obsessive World of Warcraft player Marigold Farmer.
  • Precocious - The Kaitlyn, Hiram, Shii Ann, and Wen Hu provide this trope quite a few times.
  • Loren Ipsum from Irregular Webcomic.
  • Ebony Nauss from The Way of the Metagamer.
  • Schlock Mercenary has Reverend Theo Fobius, ship "Serial Peacemaker" (named so by Ennesby to oen possibility for "cereal" puns), a few species (Qlaviql, Tohdfraugs) and robots named "Crypt Spiders".


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • These turn up frequently in classic Looney Tunes-type shorts from the '40s and '50s. They often have Punny Titles, as well. One well-known example is Wile E. Coyote.
  • Thomas "Tom" Cat
  • Several Deputy Dawg characters: Vincent Van Gopher, Ty Coon, Pig Newton.
  • Yogi Bear is set in Jellystone Park, an obvious pun on Yellowstone National Park. Yogi's own name seems to be a play on baseball great Yogi Berra—but the creators denied it.
  • The Simpsons
    • Bart's prank names used on Moe include Amanda Huggenkiss, Mike Rotch, Al Coholic, Oliver Klozoff, I.P. Freely, Jacques Strappe, and Homer Sexual. Sometimes the gag is played with: Bart asks for "Hugh Jazz", only to be handed over to him.[1] And again when Mr. Burns accidentally phoned Moe's Tavern asking for "a Mr. Smithers, first name Waylon", and Moe assumed that it was a joke name and got mad.
    • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", Homer, Apu, Skinner, and Wiggum (who got replaced by Barney) formed a band called "The B. Sharps". It was a suggestion of Apu's to fill the criteria of "something that's funny, but less so each time you hear it". The episode is an affectionate parody of The Beatles ("be dulls" according to the show's premise), The Beatles of course itself being a punny name. See Music, above.
  • In Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, all of her henchmen were like this. Some examples easily remembered were Sarah Bellum (a genius and a kind of second in command), Ace Bandage (a stuntman), Clara and Cora Net (musicians, albeit bad ones), Paige Turner, Al Loy, Phill M. Critic, the list goes on.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats is full of characters with names like these, such as Speedy Cerviche, Polly Esther, and Al Dente, which is a result of it being a Gag Dub.
  • Kim Possible, wherein almost everyone has a pun name, some more clever than others:
    • Kim's obvious meaning is "impossible", but Kimberly also means "leader".
    • Ron Stoppable, a reaching rhyme for "unstoppable", plus Ronald means "helper".
    • Rufus, a naked mole rat, is named after a type of snake that eats naked mole rats.
    • Every member of Kim's family, that has a name, has an "-im" name. It's tradition.
    • Full analysis of almost every named character in the show can be found here.
    • Shego and the rest of Team Go!
  • Abound in The Fairly OddParents: for instance, Wanda, Remy Buxaplenty, Vicky ("icky with a V"), and Jorgen von Strangle. Odds are these are probably the more subtle examples.
    • The Crimson Chin (voiced by Jay Leno) is a superhero with a large chin (a nod to Jay Leno's famous chin) and has various arch enemies who are in the "Body Of Evil" such as Bronze Kneecap, Golden Gut, Gilded Arches, and Iron Lung.
    • The Crimson Chin himself has a punny name in his secret identity, Charles Hampton Indigo, also making it a beat of a Meaningful Name.
    • Played with with Cupid. Although his name comes straight from Roman mythology, this incarnation of him embodies the meaning of the word cupidity.
  • Biker Mice From Mars has a race of fish-like aliens called Plutarkians (most of which are named after cheeses), one notable example of one is Lawrence Limburger he's named after the infamous Limburger cheese which is known for its bad smell and smells extremely terrible himself (well... he's a plutarkian and all plutarkians smell bad).
  • Almost every name in ReBoot was a pun, including Dot Matrix, which is a kind of printer, Mouse the hacker, and the henchmen Hack and Slash. The writers outdid themselves when Captain Ersatzs of Mulder and Scully appeared, called Fax Modem and Data Nully.
    • Spaceballs also has a character named Dot Matrix - a parody of C3-PO. Other punny names in Spaceballs are Lone Star, Barf, Yogurt, and Pizza The Hutt.
  • The original Chip and Dale had Chip, the first syllable of "chipmunk", and Dale, which allows the title to be a pun of "chippendale". Then the Rescue Rangers came along, and added a cheese-lover named Monterey Jack and a fly named Zipper.
    • Looney Tunes has a pair of gophers that, in tribute to Chip n' Dale, are named Mac and Tosh.
    • "Gadget Hackwrench" is kind of an anti-pun. She's big on gadgets, but she's quite skilled (or, to put it another way, she's not a hack with a wrench).
      • It is also worth noting that hackwrench is a real tool.
  • Fireman Sam has Mandy Flood and Bella Lasagne. It is also irony that in Welsh the show is named Sam Tan which translated means Sam Fire—and it is even more ironic considering that the main character and his team put out fires since they're firefighters.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.
    • It should be pointed out that the names Boris and Natasha were in Real Life common pseudonyms used by KGB agents within the Soviet Union. The two main Russian characters in GoldenEye, though not KGB agents, were also named in reference to this (Boris and Natalya).
    • The former, for those who don't get it, is a reference to Russian tsar Boris Godunov.
  • All of the aliens (except the three horror movie based ones) that Ben turns into in Ben 10 have this including Grey Matter, Heatblast, Fourarms, Upgrade, Upchuck, Wildmutt, Wildvine, Ditto, Ghostfreak, Cannonbolt, X-LR8 and Diamond Head.
    • And their species name and planet are also puns.
  • A lot of the villains in Codename: Kids Next Door have this trope.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants brings us, among other examples, Sandy Cheeks.
  • One of Peter's friends in Family Guy is named Cleveland Brown, which is the name of a football team. Also, he's black.
    • Cleveland is the name of a dead president, as is Jefferson.
  • Most of the army officers in Sheep in The Big City, often oxymorons. Includes General Specific, Private Public, Major Television Event, General Lee Outrageous, Major Motion Picture, Major Minor (who is a baby), Major Pain, Major Historical Figure.
    • This makes the second Major Minor in cartoons. The old Leonardo-TTV cartoon Klondike Kat (a segment of Underdog) had the commander of the Klondike Kops by that name.
    • Heck, the fictional company which makes the products presented during the series is even named Oxymoron.
  • Riley's teacher in The Boondocks is named "Joe Petto".
  • Token, the only black kid in South Park, is obviously a play off of Token Minority. It became even more obvious when his name was retconned from "Williams" to "Black".
    • Another more prominent example was Ms. Choksondik, who was eventually found dead with semen in her stomach, implying that she actually "choked on dick". Subverted because the kids themselves missed the pun, and instead twisted her name into typical fourth-grade insults ("Mrs. Makes-Me-Sick," etc.).
    • A punny nickname: "Butters" Stotch, a play on butterscotch. When he had to pretend to be a girl he called himself "Marjorine," a play on "margarine."
    • The "K-9" concept is also parodied with Kit-9 and K-10 (Kit-10 being "kitten")
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender often features bizarre combinations of animals, ranging from pig-chickens to alligator-leeches. So when it came time to feature the obligatory buzzards in "The Desert" guess what the combo was. Bee-vulture. They are Buzzards.
  • In an episode of Alvin and The Chipmunks, the boys go to Japan and perform "Three Little Maids from School" in a Kabuki theater, then meet Dave (who doesn't know the boys went to Japan, nor does he know that men play women's roles in Kabuki). When he asks their names, Alvin gives "Suki", Simon gives "Yaki", and Theodore, rubbing his stomach, gives "Yum-yum".
  • In an episode of American Dad! which parodies the James Bond films, the female lead is called "Sexpun T'Come".
  • Aladdin. The series had Punny Names aplenty. Abis Mal, his relative Abnor Mal, and his sidekick, Haroud Hazi Bin. Other examples include Amin Damoolah. Queen Hippsodeth. and Ayam Aghoul.
    • Even one of the names that isn't a pun per se, Mozenrath, is Tuckerization, as it's based on creators' last names.
  • Stripperella is full of this, most notably when Stripperella is working undercover as an Ordinary High School Student ("Kathy Teria") or a criminal ("Robin Stuff"). Not to mention her boss, Chief Stroganoff.
  • I Am Weasel: I.M. Weasel, I.R. Baboon
  • Every name of the main cast on Sit Down, Shut Up, such as Larry Littlejunk and Willard Deutschebog.
  • The Flintstones - Most of the names of people and places are puns involving the words "rock" or "stone" or something sounding prehistoric or primitive. Examples include "Rock Vegas" (Las Vegas) and the actor "Cary Granite" (Cary Grant).
  • Similarly, The Jetsons also made use of various "space"/high-tech themed puns for people/places, such as TV host "Jack Star" (Jack Paar) or "Las Venus" (Las Vegas again...).
  • Everyone knows Popeye's girlfriend Olive Oyl; in the original newspaper comics she also has a brother named Castor, parents named Cole and Nana, and several extended family members with similar punny names. In the Movie, when Olive objects to Popeye's naming the baby Swee'pea, Popeye asks, "What were you going to call him, Baby Oyl?"
  • Rugrats - Dil Pickles.
  • Gem Stone from Sabrina the Animated Series.
  • The Venture Brothers has several of these, like Nat King Cobra.
    • Coupled with Bilingual Bonus: The villain in the pilot was a Japanese man named Otaku Senzuri, who's caught having A Date with Rosie Palms using Dr. Venture's new Oo Ray. "Otaku", of course, means an obsessive fanboy, and "Senzuri" means masturbation (lit. "a thousand rubs").
  • Bonkers - Miranda Wright is a policewoman. Her name is a play on "Miranda rights".
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • Sara Bellum, a name that is seemingly very common in this index.
    • Ima Goodlady, for one episode. It's Sedusa in disguise.
    • Classmates Elmer Sglue, Julie Bean, Mike Believe.
    • Japanese attorney Sosumi Blind from "I See a Funny Cartoon In Your Future".
    • Princess Morbucks.
    • Sonny Dial, host of the time channel
  • Futurama gives us the robot Bender, a robot made for bending girders. Later episodes introduces his identical copy Flexo and a female bending robot called Anglelyne.
    • And Zoidberg's comedian uncle Harold Zoid.
    • The Robot Devil's official name? Beelzebot.
  • Gorillaz - 2D's real name is Stuart Pot, which earned him the nickname Stu-Pot. After suffering two car accidents, he became known as 2D because of the two dents in his head, which is also a pun on his "two-dimensional" nature as a cartoon character.
  • The female host of KaBlam!! is named June. Guess how many episodes premiered that month (and once had a marathon during the month)?
    • The Off-Beats had Betty-Ann Bongo, who played the bongos, and Rapunzel Hair.
  • The kids from Portfolio Productions' Hood have punny names that reflect their powers: Parker has superhuman agility, Bird can communicate with and control (you guessed it) birds, Loona can inflate her body like a balloon, etc.
  • The Weavils' names on Jimmy Two Shoes mix "weasel" and "evil".
  • Crusader Rabbit (television's first cartoon made specifically for the medium) had a recurring villain named Dudley Nightshade. The second series had a story arc with a foreign dignitary named the Agowan.
  • Roger Ramjet made use of some nice puns, most notably the name of a country: Runovia.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic uses this trope extensively, particularly for locations (Fillydelphia, Manehattan, Cloudsdale, and Canterlot) and characters (Hummingway, Owlowiscious, Photo Finish). It's probably easier to list the names that are not named by this trope.
    • Fannames for unnamed background ponies are even more likely to be this. As well as ponfied versions of real people.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine occasionally uses this for background industries.
    • In Series 4, some covered narrow gauge wagons were labeled "D. Fusit Gunpowder".
    • One of the model makers claims the fuel tankers from Series 3 that read "Sodor Fuel" started off as an inside joke ("Sod Off, You All").
    • In "Toad Stands By", Scruffy's name comes from the lettering on his sides ("S.C.Ruffey & Co.").
    • The terminus of Thomas' branch, Ffarquhar, is a vaguely Welsh corruption of "Far Away Quarry".
  • TUGS, being created and modeled by much of Thomas the Tank Engine's crew, has some similarly punny names.
    • Demder Rocks (I.E. "There's gold in them thar hills!")
    • The "Ewell Neverno" oil company.
    • The garbage wharf manager has one - barely legible above his door.
  • Dr. Horace N. Buggy from the Woody Woodpecker short The Cracked Nut.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures has Dr. Gene Splicer, who specializes in making Mix and Match Creatures.
  • The Secret Show has a double agent named Kent B. Trusted.
  • Inventor Pat Pending on Wacky Races.
  • Odie Cologne ("eau de cologne") of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects makes perfumes.
  • On The Go-Go Gophers (segment of Underdog), Col. Kit Coyote's superior was General Nuisance.
  • The debut episode of Count Duckula, "No Sax Please, We're Egyptian," featured two characters named Hoomite and Yubi, which led to a Who's on First? go with Duckula. The episode title itself is a nod to the play No Sex Please, We're British.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Animators Hugh Harman And Rudolph Ising. Harman and Ising. Harman-Ising. Harmonizing. Who created Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and then made Happy Harmonies.
  • John Candy was born on Halloween, plus he was a very fat man with a sweet personality.
  • There is a Finnish meteorologist named "Pekka Pouta". "Pouta" means "fair weather".
    • At least that's fair weather. Here in New Jersey we have "Storm Field" doing the weather on channel 9.
    • FOX News has two meteorologists named Amy Freeze and Chris Sowers(showers). Dear God.
    • There's also L.A. weatherman Dallas Rains.
    • And a BBC Local weather presenter called Sara Blizzard
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have a pitcher named Grant Balfour.
  • Staff Segent Max Fightmaster.
  • Karl Schwarzschild, whos last name means "black shield" is famous for his physics work. Primarily with black holes.
    • An entire branch of physics has a punny name - Quantum Electrodynamics. It deals with (according to The Other Wiki) "how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved". What's its acronym? Q.E.D.
  • Francis Ford Coppola's producer Fred Fuchs. I'd dare you to spell his name one certain letter off...
    • There were also great composers called Fucik (of Entry of the Gladiators fame) and Fux.
      • Fuchs is a common German surname pronounced "fooks". It means "Fox". Fučík is pronounced "foocheek", so no pun here.
  • Goichi Suda, creator of Killer7 and No More Heroes, goes by Suda 51 most of the time - "Goichi", of course, being made of the Japanese words for "five" and "one".
  • In San Diego, California (USA), you can find the intersection of Haveteur Way and Unida Place. (Have it your way, you need a place.)
    • Non-intentional example: the intersection of Nixon-Bluett. [1] The best part: the streets are in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library.
    • Is there a Burger King on Haveteur Way? If not, they should open one...
  • The OC (California) has the intersection of Antonio Parkway and Avenida De Las Banderas. Most likely done on purpose, as that community (Rancho Santa Margarita) was only established in the late 1980's.
  • US senator Marion Barry.
  • Aleph One, the open source release of the Marathon 2: Durandal code, was so named because the last game in the trilogy was named Marathon Infinity. To jarringly brush aside the complexities: the smallest infinite set, the size of the counting numbers, is aleph zero. Aleph one is a set one size bigger.
  • Many Drag Queen stage names are of the punny variety, such as Sharon Needles, Dieta Pepsi, Tequila Mockingbird, Anita Mann, Bertha Vanation, Mimi Imfurst, and so on.
    • The archetypal example (at least in Britain) is Danny LaRue, from the French dans la rue.
    • Best drag king name ever? Smack Diaz.
    • Best drag queen name? Shelita Buffet.
  • Rollerderby players also take stage names, usually related to their style of play (Ana Ki, Sky Rokkit, Hula Gunn, Annie Mal, and Belle de Brawl are some examples from Roll Britannia.)
  • A British adult education institute once had an evening class on the music of The Beatles. One of the people who signed up for it was called Penelope Lane.
  • Creigh Deeds, the defeated Democratic candidate in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election. The joke is in the last name, which provided a clever tag for Republican rival Bob McDonnell's ad campaigns ("Know him by his words. Know him by his DEEDS")
  • The Anglo-Saxon king Ethelred the Unready's modern name stems from a contemporary pun—Æþelræd means "noble counsel", so his unhappy subjects dubbed him "Æþelræd Unræd" -- "Noble-counsel No-counsel". Given that he managed to secretly orchestrate a national massacre in an age when long-distance communication meant a bloke on a horse, a lack of preparation was probably not one of his major flaws.
  • The British record label turned media firm Chrysalis is named after its two founders, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis.
  • Urologist Dick Chopp.
  • Finno-Swedish World War Two Winter War behind-enemy-lines specialist, 2nd Lieutenant Harry Järv. A double pun since "Järv" means wolverine, and the identically pronounced "Djärv" means bold.
  • Someone named Mike Rowe once registered the domain name MikeRoweSoft.com. (Eventually Microsoft bought it from him.)
  • There is a British radio presenter named Fenella Fudge. It is not yet known if she's been told how much it sounds like 'Vanilla'.
  • The computer programming language C++ contains an increment operator, ++ . This programming language is based on the programming language called C. Hence, its name means "C plus one" or "C incremented".
    • An enhanced version of an old-school, and notoriously verbose, programming language has been mooted called ADD 1 TO COBOL GIVING COBOL.
      • That statement, by the way, is littered with syntax errors: ADD... GIVING... should not reference the same variable twice (ADD 1 TO COBOL would be the way to do it), some compilers do not support TO with GIVING (because ADD 1 TO COBOL is already a complete statement), and most compilers would make COBOL a reserved word and hence unusable as a variable name. Years of wearily dealing with compilation errors have a cumulative effect. :D
    • Then there's Microsoft's own C derivative; C#. The # is supposed to be a sharp symbol, akin to musical notes, which means C# is one note higher than C (or an increment). Alternatively, it also looks like two increment operators (++) stacked together.
  • The sign # (hash) precedes a name of the IRC channel. Hence the channels #ish, #smoke, #maryjane and #brownies (and their counterparts in different languages) were only to be expected.
  • Season 13 of The Amazing Race featured Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Starr Spangler.
  • This troper always got a kick out of the tennis player, Anna Smashnova.
  • There's Schickhaus Franks ("A frank by any other name can never, never taste the same as Schickhaus, Schickhaus Franks!"). Described by one radio announcer as the most carefully pronounced hot dogs in the world.
  • An heiress to the Lear Jet fortune? Shanda. Yes. The kid was named Shanda Lear.
    • That was also the drag name (spelled Shanda Leer) of a recurring character in the US/Canada version of Queer as Folk.
  • Punny or not, former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle.
  • A German Language and medical example: Todd's syndrome, wherein only one side of the body (or so) is awake (the other half being asleep. Coma asleep). To a terrified first-time experiencer of a seizure and Todd's syndrome, it may feel that they are dying - Tod is german for 'death.'
  • MSNBC has a reporter/commentator named Krystal Ball, who's been working with other talking heads to predict whom the next Republican presidential candidate will be.
  • Pun Street, a feature on Dave Gorman's show on Absolute Radio collects punny business names, so long as they really exist. Painful highlights include:
  • Similar to the above example, a book called Ngalang Pinoy (Pinoy Names) was released in the Philippines, compiling unusual business names, movie titles, slogans, and everything in between. You've got a massage parlor called You Kneaded Me, a furniture shop called To Home It May Concern, a fitness center called Gym Carry, and a tailoring service called James Tailor, among other things.
  • Punny Names are popular for Canadian businesses. One that comes to mind is an oyster bar called Aw, Shucks
  • On D-Day the British 7th Parachute Battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. Richard Pine-Coffin.
  • The AT-4 shoulder fired rocket launcher. It fires 84mm warheads.
  • the recently departed Cardinal Sin, archbishop of Manila
  • American football player Chad Ochocinco. Take a wild guess what number he is. (Very jarring to some, as his original name was Chad Johnson. And 85 in Spanish is ochenta y cinco.)
  • 5th Cell employs a programmer named Cody Haskell.
  • In the pre-Internet era, Fanfic writers, especially Slash Fic writers, resorted to pseudonyms to hide their activities from both the media companies and easily-shocked "mundanes." Sometimes these handles were political (The PTL Club) or whimsical, but sometimes the slasher resorted to a handle like "Betina Sheets" or "Lotta Sleeze"
  • The physicists Ralph Alpher and George Gamow wrote a paper on the origins of the universe (in particular, on the synthesis of elements after the Big Bang); before publication, Gamow asked Hans Bethe to add his name to the paper, resulting in a fitting sequence of "Alpha, Beta, Gamma".
  • As of 2012, NBC has a page named Paige.
  • Three members of the cardinal family of birds (Cardinalidae), the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and Vermilion Cardinal (Cardinalis phoeniceus), in addition to the the Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) when using its alternate and easier-to-grasp name of Desert Cardinal (all three members of the Cardinalis genus if the family Cardinalidae) are named for their crests, which were thought to resemble a Catholic cardinal's hat. However, not all members of the cardinal family have a crest, as with grosbeaks and American buntings (no relation to Old World buntings, which are in the same family as American sparrows).


Punny Theme Naming[edit | hide]

  • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has this with the entire cast; all important cast members have pun names that explain their most important character traits once written out horizontally in Kanji, except a teacher and the first student, who are named after a philosopher and a writer. The titular character is a prime example of this: Nozomu Itoshiki appears fairly normal when written vertically, but the characters become the word "Zetsubou," which means despair, once written horizontally. As expected, he is always depressed about something, and attempts suicide enough that he has a kit he carries with him to facilitate in these endeavors.
    • Ironically, this only applies to him as all his other family members (that we've seen so far) lack their name-traits (though the puns annoy them no less). His older brother Mikoto has zetsumei which means "death" (he's a doctor too. Hilarity Ensues). His sister Rin has zetsurin which means "(sexually) peerless."
      • Actually Mikoto's might apply to him because at one point Nozomu has to go get surgery from him because Chiri stabbed him, Mikoto messes up at one point and Nozomu yells out "I've met my demise" or in Japanese "zetsumei shita"
  • iCarly: Socko and his relatives.
  • The names of characters in Asterix are all puns; one of the reasons why the English-language version became popular was the art the translators showed in creating English puns out of French puns.
  • In Leisure Suit Larry 7, all of the girls have names that reference female Hollywood stars, such as Drew Baringmore and Jamie Lee Coitus.
  • In the Lotus series there are such opponents as Mickey Lauder, Alain Phosphate, T. Hairy Bootsen, Nijel Mainsail and Ayrton Sendup.
  • Almost every character in Kim Possible has an utterly puntastic name. The titular character ("impossible"), her sidekick Ron Stoppable ("unstoppable", though he often proves simply "stoppable"), and so on. Across the aisle is Shego (probably a take on "watch her go", or "she" and "ego" put together), and her theme-named superhero siblings Hego (big tough He-Man type), Mego (self-centered), and Wego (multiplication powers... also probably twins, but with that power it's tough to judge). See also Lord Montey Fisk (AKA Monkey Fist... they really are), Senor Senior, Sr. and his son Senor Senior, Jr., DNAmy, a daredevil stuntswoman named Adrena Lynn, and so on.
  • Almost every character in the Ace Attorney games have punny names, and those who are familiar with both versions can appreciate the challenges in localizing the names so they make sense. For a quick timesink, try checking out the character section in Court Records.
    • A few aren't puns but other forms of wordplay. For instance, all employees of Blue Screens Inc have palindrome names (Lisa Basil, Glen Elg...)
  • Thimble Theatre's Oyl Family: Nana, Cole, Castor and of course, Olive.
  • When Zahn features Talon Karrde in his Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, he has all of Karrde's organization's ships bear Punny Names, but they're quietly punny, and no one remarks on names like "Wild Karrde", "Amanda Fallow", and "Lastri's Ort". Too quiet, perhaps, since other writers using the same character will give him ships that have more generic names.
  • Slayers has Gourry Gabriev and (presumably his ancestor) Rowdy Gabriev—warriors from the family that kept Sword of Light. They're neither very rowdy nor gory, of course.
  • On King Crimson's The ConstruKction of Light album, any songs that have a hard "c" in the title replace it with a "Kc", as in "King Crimson": "ProzaKc Blues", "FraKctured", and the title track.
  • The Xanth books by Piers Anthony are built on puns, so the large number of pun names within is understandable.
    • In the first two books, the puns were scarce, and not even noted by the characters. As the series progressed, they became more common. And then he started taking reader-submitted puns. He quickly became so inundated with puns that he ended up with a waiting list due to there always being far too many to use in a single book. The result? Not only are the books filled with possibly the universe's largest concentration of puns, in-universe the land of Xanth came to be described as literally made of puns. That is, the actual physical substance of Xanth is puns. By this point, pretty much every minor character and many major ones have Punny Names.
  • Nearly every Japanese name pertaining to important characters in the Pokémon games can be traced back to something relating to some sort of plant or tree.
  1. Funnier still for computer buffs since Hugh Jazz is a British programmer