Species Surname

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Buster: Hi, I'm Buster Bunny!
Babs: And I'm Babs Bunny!
Both: No relation!

Most Funny Animal, Civilized Animal, or Talking Animal characters' surnames, if they have one, go with their species. These surnames come in four types:

  • The first and most common one is simply the name of their species used as a surname. (These often come with the middle initial "T," which of course stands for "The," or "J," following an old cartoon tradition.) In some cases the species name is used as a surname, but seems to be just a descriptive term, with a definite article, as in "Edd the Duck" or "Kermit the Frog."
  • The second is adding on one of those ancestral suffixes or prefixes.
  • The third is using a specific breed.
  • And fourth, you can get really creative and build surnames out of words associated with the animal.

Bonus points for making it into an Alliterative Name.

However, considering the invention of surnames were meant to be descriptive- "Where's Todd?" "Which Todd? Andrew's son, Todd?" (Anderson) "No, Todd the blacksmith." (Smith) etc. -this is not all that ridiculous. Considering how inter-species marriages never seem to happen, (unless they're main characters) it seems likely that a Funny Animal will have a surname related to their species.

When it's the species that takes a character's name, it's A Kind of One. When it's Dog Smith instead of Alice T. Dog, it's A Dog Named "Dog".

Examples of Species Surname include:

Anime and Manga

  • Tony Tony Chopper of One Piece. "Tony" is a nickname based on "tonakai", the Japanese word for "reindeer".
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima:
    • A semi-example is Kotaro Inugami, who is half-Inugami.
    • Another variation is found later: in the Ariadne Magic Academy we have Cat Girls J. von Katze and S. du Chat (whose surnames are, respectively, German and French words for "cat").

Comic Books

  • Bucky O Hare and The Toad Wars. And for bonus points, his one-eyed robot is named "Blinky."
    • Well, the Irish touch makes it kind of O'riginal.
  • Bamse. Has pretty much every variant used at some point. (Personal favorite is Unlucky Childhood Friend Vargen's ("The Wolf") object of affection, Virginia Wolf, literary reference and animal surname in one!
  • Pretty much everyone on Earth-C in Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew had a species surname of some sort---or a species-related * first* name for some (see: Rubberduck's alter-ego of "Byrd Rentals").
  • Miyamoto Usagi of Usagi Yojimbo. This name is in Japanese order: "Usagi" (Japanese for "rabbit") is the given name.
  • Donald Duck comics show an extended Duck family, including: Gladstone Gander, Gus Goose, Molly Mallard, Cornelius Coot, Lulubelle Loon... you get the idea. Other friends of the family include Scrooge's secretary, miss Emily Quackfaster, or The Professor Ludwig Van Drake. Daisy Duck and Donald Duck aren't related, thankfully. And for bonus points: Donald's father was named... Quackmore.
  • Robert Crumb's Shuman the Human may have been named as a parody of this practice.
  • The Bone cousins in Bone.
  • And, no, superheroes whose name ends in "Man" or "Woman" (Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, etc.) are not examples of this trope. See Something Person.
  • Lupo Alberto from the eponymous Italian comic character counts, because his name means "Alberto the wolf", but is also his legitimate name AND a pun on 60s actor Alberto Lupo; in the same comic there is also Enrico La Talpa, where "La Talpa" means "The Mole" (which is what he is), but is also his surname.
  • Most of the characters from U.S. Acres, with the exception of Booker and Sheldon.


  • In Piers Anthony's Xanth series, characters generally take their species classification as a surname such as Smash Ogre, Glory Goblin, Forrest Faun, Che Centaur, Tandy Nymph... On the occasional intrusion of Mundanes into Xanth, most characters are confounded by the existence of an actual last name. They usually just end up being called X Mundane for the duration.
    • It gets even better with mixed-species pairings: Glory Goblin married Harold Harpy and had two children: Gloha Goblin-Harpy and Harglo Harpy-Goblin. ....yes.
  • The Berenstain Bears children's books. Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister Bear. Brother Bear's original name was Small Bear, until Sister was born and his parents renamed him Brother. Every other character has a bear-related name. Too-Tall Grizzly, Lizzy Bruin, Mayor Honeypot, etc.
  • The first Redwall book featured this - John Churchmouse, Colin Vole - though since maybe three characters in total even had "surnames" they may not have been meant to be surnames so much as descriptions. The later books don't use species names as surnames, but species-specific names are common; hedgehogs are almost invariably something like "Spike" or "Stickle" or "Quill."
  • Benjy Mouse and Frankie Mouse from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (As "mouse" is only sometimes capitalized, it's surely not a surname here.)
  • Johnathan Livingston Seagull (book and title character) as well as the parody Johnathan Seagull Chicken which uses characters with names like Segal and Fox as personifications of the corresponding animal
    • Another parody was Ludwig Von Wolfgang Vulture.
  • The children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Mr. Beaver's best friend is apparently Badger. How this naming system works in a country populated largely by talking animals is never really explained, although it disappears later in the series; in the final book we have Jewel the Unicorn and Farsight the Eagle.
  • Non-animal example: In Flatland, the protagonist A. Square is indeed a square. Males of Flatland are all isoceles triangles or regular polygons, with the internal angle determining social status, making the system a bit like caste-names that some societies have, so this is a somewhat Justified Trope.
    • The original edition had the author listed as "A Square," not "A. Square." Names are not used in the book.
    • The sequel makes his name Albert Square, and is about his relative Vicky Line (a woman). A Grovenor Square is also mentioned.
  • Used on occasion in the Geronimo Stilton series: Sally Ratmousen, Count von Ratoff, Hercule Poirat, etc. Most of the surnames are either mouse-related (Sweetfur, Von Kickpaw) or puns on the character's occupation.
  • In The Phantom Tollbooth we have the Spelling Bee, literally a giant bee that is good at spelling. Tock the Watchdog: a dog with a giant clock in his body.
    • Would Awful Dynne the living personification of noise count?
  • Una Persson, in the Jerry Cornelius stories by Michael Moorcock and others, is also a possibility.
  • In Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Eddie assumes, before meeting Jessica Rabbit, that she's a Toon rabbit. Nope—she's a Toon human, but she married a Toon rabbit and took his last name.

Live-Action TV

  • In NCIS , Ducky's nickname comes from the fact that his name is Donald Mallard.
    • And he's human.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has a non-animal example in Crow T. Robot. His co-star, Tom Servo, provides an example of Type Four.
  • The main antagonists of Juken Sentai Gekiranger all have this going based on their martial art style: Rio (Leo) the Lion Fist, Mele the Chameleon Fist, and Long ("Dragon" in Chinese, as in Shenlong) the Dragon Fist.
  • Replace "species" with "nationality" and a certain engineer from Star Trek counts. He's Scottish and his last name is "Scott," with the nickname "Scotty."

Newspaper Comics

  • Done in Slylock Fox with the animals, although oddly nobody has the surname "Human."
  • Variant: 'The Dog' has such an Embarrassing First Name that he never allows anyone to speak it, leading to everyone calling him 'the dog'.
  • Norm T. Platypus in My Cage, along with seemingly everyone else in the comic.
    • Also of note: Nearly everyone's middle name is "T.," which seems to imply that everyone's middle name is... "The."
  • All the animals in Rupert's world go by this.

Puppet Shows

  • Both followed (Poink T. Ferret, Java Frog, Hump T. Camel, Hugh Manatee, Temp Ferret) and averted (Mutt Barker - illegitimate son of Bob, Arthur Bronswagger, Jimmy Noneck, Shak, Ezra Shawartz, Crappy Shawartz) on The Funday Pawpet Show. One of the newest characters, Cool Old Guy Gof, has a name that stands for Gray Old Fox.
  • In The Muppet Show, most Muppets of recognizable non-human species have one or another form of Species Surname.
    • Played with in an sketch on Sesame Street, where Kermit the Frog wanted a T-Shirt with his name on it, but the salesman kept mixing it up with shirts for Kermit the "Gorf," "Forg" and "Grof." Naturally, the other Kermits come in one by one for their own shirts.
  • Also of Jim Henson, comes Fraggle Rock. Every Fraggle has a surname of Fraggle. Mokey will often use it when scolding another character by calling them by their full name.
  • Children's BBC puppet presenters Edd the Duck and Gordon T. Gopher also qualify. In an interview for the Gordon T Gopher Annual, Gordon insists his middle name isn't "The," but refuses to say what it actually is.


  • Kate Monster and Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q (though in this case "monster" is a race, not a species). Lampshaded when someone asks if they're related. They're not, and the exchange is the setup for a song called "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist."
    • Stretching the definition of "species" still further, one of the other puppet characters is named Lucy T. Slut.

Video Games

  • Star Fox characters Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad. Also, Fox McCloud, Wolf O'Donnell, and Panther Caroso have their species as their first names.
    • Means they should go here, but for the convenience's sake...
    • Also Pigma Dengar, Leon Powalski (a chameLEON), Bill Grey, a greyhound, and Katt Monroe (cat with a K). Falco Lombardi would resemble a falcon if only he weren't bright blue. Whatever species he may be his name is clearly avian (he is the only bird in the series thus far).
      • But the famous Blue Falcon from F-Zero is also blue; the character's color may be a nod to this.
    • And Fara Phoenix. Say it. If it sounds like "fennecs" you did it right.
  • In a non Funny Animal example, members of the Ronso and Guado races in Final Fantasy X use their species as surnames.
    • ...although it should be pointed out that nobody else in the game seems to have a surname.
      • ...except for maesters Yo Mika and Wen Kinoc and Yu Yevon, though it doesn't seem to've carried to his daughter.
  • Several places in Sonic the Hedgehog, though there are some exceptions: Miles "Tails" Prower, Amy Rose... and in the Archie comics, Sonic isn't the titular character's real name. Apparently, his name is Olgivie Maurice Takeshi Hedgehog.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, the various Pokémon the player meets are all named simply by species. (One wonders what happens if two Bulbasaur ever show up in town.) The player, however, can rename his own character and any Pokémon that join his rescue team.
    • Lampshaded In the second game. A Teddiursa and Ursaring who were paired together couldn't tell each other apart when the former evolved.
  • The Mario series has this, especially in the Yoshi's Island series, where the names were either a name or descriptive phrase in front of the species name (with the exception of Tap-Tap the Red Nose).
    • The Toads, natives of the Mushroom Kingdom, all share the last name "Toad."
  • Most mavericks in the Mega Man X series sport species surnames.
  • Satori Komeiji of Touhou Project uses her species as her first name as well: she is a satori, of course.
    • Ditto Nue Houjuu.
    • And Kogasa ("Little Karakasa") Tatara.
    • Koakuma ("Little Devil"), Daiyousei ("Greater/Bigger Fairy"), and Tokiko ("Little Crested Ibis") may look like examples, but these were all originally nicknames given to the nameless characters by the fandom, which stuck.
  • Done pretty cleverly in Sly Cooper, where most of the cast has a Meaningful Name of some sort or other. Carmelita Fox is, in fact, a vixen, but "Fox" is an actual surname, of course (for Hispanics, as well, such as Mexican President Vicente).
    • Also, unofficially or officially; Bentley Wiseturtle and Murry Hippo. As well as Raleigh The Frog and The Panda King,
  • Conker the Squirrel signs his name as "Conker T. Squirrel," which would make 'Squirrel' Conker's last name.
  • Sid & Al's Incredible Toons stars Sid E. Mouse and Al E. Cat, doubling as a Punny Name (City Mouse, Alley Cat).
  • The PC game Jazz Jackrabbit has the title rabbit's type 1 last name and also has Princess Eva Earlong and Devan Shell.
  • Mostly averted in Animal Crossing, where each villager gets a unique name, but there are a few exceptions.
  • The title character of the mobile phone game Joustin Beaver is a beaver who looks like Justin Bieber.

Web Comics

  • Kevin and Kell uses this trope widely. The main characters are the Dewclaw family, after a specific animal body part; there's a family of foxes with the surname 'Fennec', after a sort of fox with rabbit-like ears, and a local feline mechanic is named Aby Eyeshine (Abyssinian).
  • Used extensively in The Suburban Jungle - Starring Tiffany Tiger. An interesting variant used therein is Leona Lioness, who manages to work both species AND gender into her surname...
  • Grace Sciuridae in El Goonish Shive (Sciuridae being the formal term for the squirrel family). Extra points for her Code Name, Shade Tail, which is what the name actually means in Latin.
  • Eric Schwartz's Sabrina Online has a lot of fun with this trope. We have Thomas Wolfe, who is actually only half-wolf; his mother was a fox. He ends up marrying Amy Squirrel, who, not surprisingly, keeps her maiden name. There son ends up being one fourth fox, one fourth wolf, one half squirrel, with the name Timothy Wolf-Squirrel. Meanwhile, Fanon establishes Sabrina's surname as "Mephitidae" (the scientific family to which skunks belong to), while in the strip itself it's a "Where the Hell is Springfield?" kinda thing.
    • Actually, in Strip 163, it's revealed that Sabrina lives in Columbus, Ohio.
    • And then there's Sheila Vixen. You have to feel sorry for her dad.
  • Played with a bit in PvP by Skull the Troll. "Troll" is a straight example, but the "the" actually stands for "Theodore."
  • Subverted somewhat in Daisy Owl: Daisy isn't one. Her adoptive father, on the other hand...
  • Dinosaur Comics' three main characters are all named after their species. Lampshaded in the default subject field under the contact link in this comic.
  • The Wotch has Samantha Wolf, a.k.a. "Wolfie," who is human... except during the full moon.
  • Everyday Heroes features avian Dolly Bird, and her insect sibling G-Nat, who also uses the alias Nate Diptera (Diptera being an order of insects including gnats, black flies, and midges).
  • Melonpool has Sam T. Dogg (admittedly misspelled).
  • The Life of Nob T. Mouse brought us Nob T. Mouse (the "T" stands for "The"), Flop Fish and Frederick Rabbitt.
  • Femmegasm has Shelly Mander, who is a breed of salamander.
  • Andrea Mouse in Horndog.
  • In Narbonic when Artie the hyperintelligent hamster is turned into a human, he takes on the pseudonym "Nick Cricetida".

Mell: Where did you get a name like Cricetida, anyway?
Artie: It's my family name.
Mell: Well, duh...
Artie: Cricetidae. A family within the order Rodentia, comprising wood mice, voles, hamsters, and over 70 distinct species of gerbil. One Mongolian species, Meriones unguiculatus, is popular as a pet--

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Nearly all animal characters from Looney Tunes, Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera, the last as recent as the Shirt Tales.
    • Tiny Toon Adventures uses this for a Running Gag; since Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny are the show's Official Couple, every time they introduce themselves together, they have to say, "No relation" afterward. This is eventually commented on in their cameo in an Animaniacs skit. (Noah: "Okay, let's hope not, this is a children's show...")
      • Whereas of course incest is fine if its being done for adults.
  • Several Walter Lantz characters, including Woody Woodpecker, and his regular opponent, Buzz Buzzard; and Andy Panda.
  • Camp Lazlo uses more than one of the name styles mentioned above; at least for those who actually have their last names mentioned (those of the three main characters aren't). Edward uses variation 1 (T. Platypus), Nina, variation 4 (Neckerly, which is alliterative), and some characters' names are exceptions to this: Clogmeyer for Samson, Smiles for Patsy and Lumpus for, well, Scoutmaster Lumpus (his full name is Algonquin C. Lumpus).
  • This covers almost the entire cast of My Gym Partner's a Monkey, where it's actually used as a plot point. The main (human) character was put into an animal school because his name is Adam Lyon, and a clerical error rendered it as Adam Lion.
  • An example of version 4: Dinosaurs, the 1991 sitcom, revolved around the Sinclair family. Although the surname isn't a direct species reference, it is a reference to Sinclair Oil and its dinosaur logo.
  • In the Disney/Pixar film Cars, many of the characters have names reflective of the brand or style of automobile on which they are based: Mack is a Mack truck, Sally Carerra is a Porsche 911 Carerra, Lizzie is a Ford Model T "Tin Lizzie," Doc Hudson is a The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, etc.
  • A version of the first variation is found in The Animals of Farthing Wood. All of the original animals just have their species as their name: for example, "Fox," "Badger," "Toad" or "Weasel." Their descendants have differing names, though.
  • Several Transformers have names that reflect their alternate forms. Bumblebee, who later became Goldbug, turned into a yellow Volkswagen Beetle (bug) in both bodies. There's also Soundwave, who turns into a tape player; Cheetor, Rattrap, Waspinator and any number of others from Beast Wars, and Tankor and Jetstorm of Beast Machines, to name just a few.
    • In Transformers Animated it's shown that the name everyone goes by were assigned to them by their drill sargeant in Autobot boot camp, and in Beast Wars they apparently picked their own name upon discovering their new alt-forms.
  • Parodied in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: Roger Rabbit is indeed a rabbit, but his humanoid wife, Jessica Rabbit, is not.
  • An American Tail features examples of the second type: Fievel Mousekewitz, Gussie Mausheimer, Tony Toponi (from the Italian topo, which means mouse). It also featured Warren T. Rat, although he was actually a cat in disguise.
  • Some of the first Droopy cartoons give his last name as Poodle. (Third type, although he's more of a basset hound) One cartoon gives him the name McPoodle, combining types two and three.
  • Double time for Moose A. Moose, animated host of the children learning channel Noggin. In case you're wondering, yes he's a moose.
  • A fairly creative example can be seen in the civilian name of Darkwing Duck: Drake Mallard. The name has "hey, I'm a duck" written all over it, but they are also genuine names.
    • Additionally, this is more accurate for a male. Duck = female. Drake = male. Mallard = species.
    • On the other hand, his sidekick is a McQuack.
    • It's also hard to tell where his daughter's name would fit in. She's apparently a duck (one episode cites she's got duck molecules, anyway), but her birth parents gave her the name Gosalyn, which sounds more like 'gosling' than anything duck related; she takes 'Mallard' as a last name after Darkwing adopts her.
      • I haven't seen many Darkwing TV episodes, but at least the comic books have her birth surname as Waddlemeyer. That could reference either ducks or geese.
      • But when she adopts a secret identity now and then, the name she uses is Quiverwing Quack. Only ducks and pelicans quack, and Gosalyn is very definitely not a pelican.
    • Some of the rest of the cast follows this trope (Such as SHUSH agent Grizzlikoff) but most of them are too busy making other puns (like the scientist Sarah Bellum)
  • Averted with the newsman, last name Gander. He's more canine, so it's probably a pun on tv/media and "taking a gander" as in look/see.
  • The Mighty Ducks had two of these: Mallory McMallard and Duke L'Orange. Say that latter one out loud. And then there was a character with the first name of Canard (the French for duck). Double bonus points for giving their all-too-human manager the surname Palmfeather.
  • Examples from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Rat Capone and his sidekicks Sugar Ray Lizard and Arnold Mousenegger, Fat Cat's lackey Mole, Conrad Cockatoo, Mr. Starfish from Captain Fin's crew, Canina LaFur (from canine). It's highly unlikely, though, that Canina LaFur's evil stuntdog Zsa Zsa Labrador is a Lab Retriever.
  • Skunk Fu! uses species given names rather than surnames.
  • Played With in Rocko's Modern Life. Heffer Wolfe is a cow who was Raised by Wolves.
  • Bonkers D. Bobcat
  • Wally Gator
  • Catscratch offers an extremely rare human example to this trope with Human Kimberly.
    • Though it's unlikely that her actual first name is "Human," just about every character calls her that while referring to other humans by regular names.
  • From Veggie Tales, there's Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, Junior Asparagus... Actually, it'd be easier to list counterexamples.
  • The Dutch have Alfred J Kwak. Guess what kind of animal he is.
  • Every character in The Caribou Kitchen has this, plus some Alliteration (ie. Claudia Caribou, Abe Anteater etc.)
  • Stimpson J. Cat (Ren and Stimpy)
  • Jake the Dog, and in a bizarre occurrence, Finn the Human in Adventure Time. According to the creator, Finn is named "Finn the Human" because he is supposedly the Last of His Kind. Note that these aren't their surnames - they're brothers, as Finn was adopted by Jake's parents, so they'd probably have the same surname if it applied to Dogs in the Land of Ooo.
    • The princess-heavy show has some fun with this, in that there is even a character named Dr. Princess (it's her surname), who has no apparent connection to royalty.
  • Played with in The Nightmare Before Christmas, as while Jack Skellington sounds like a fancy use of this trope, there are some accents that pronounce "skeleton" as "skellington" (see Hot Fuzz for an example).
  • Peppa Pig is a straight example. Most are Alliterative Names as well; Suzy Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit, Emily Elephant, Pedro Pony.
  • Baloo of The Jungle Book gave his full name as Baloo Bear in Tale Spin.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle has Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. Their middle initial is a reference to the show's creator, Jay Ward.
  • Arthur mostly averts this. However:
    • Mr. Ratburn. Guess what animal he actually is!
    • United States news media, on the whole, failed to acknowledge this aversion when an actor in an Arthur Read costume showed up at a press conference on February 16, 2011, to protest the ruling party's threat to take funding away from public TV, repeatedly calling him "Arthur the aardvark".
  • Hey, where's Perry the Platypus?
  • Completely averted with the Dogfaces from DuckTales (1987), but for some reason played straight with the Beagle Boys.
  • Played straight on Birdz. Most of the cast has their species as a surname, but the central family is Storkowitz.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Angel Bunny, though he's usually referred to as just Angel.
  • All of the cat people in Swat Kats have cat-based punny names. Mayor Manx's surname is a breed of cat (which he isn't one of, him having a tail while Manxes lack one).
  • Played with in Zootopia. While there is the singer Gazelle (go on, guess what animal she is) and characters like the Otterton family, the thug Weaselton and the Major Leodore Lionheart, there are also characters that doesn't have obvious species surname but pun on it (Judy Hopps, a rabbit, or the diminutive shrew mafia boss Mr. Big) or normal sounding (Nick Wilde, a red fox).


  • Furry Fandom, full stop. Probably at least half of all furries' screen names, and the Original Characters they refer to, take one form of this or another.
  • In a variation, was fashionable in the 1990s for some UK music magazines to replace a band member's surname with the name of his band, so that Richie Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers simply became "Richie Manic," or Nina Persson of the Cardigans was "Nina Cardigan."
    • Dani Filth of Cradle Of Filth, probably because Dani Davey is not exactly a metal sounding name.
  • Anyone with the last name "Man" or "Mann."
    • Also, anyone with a last name derived from "Adam," such as "Adams," "Adamov" or "Adamoglu." Especially true for speakers of Hebrew and some Turkic languages, where "adam" is still the word for "man." In Turkish, "adam" is a male human, not the species as a whole. "Man" as in human would be "Ademoğlu," meaning child of Adam. However, the word "adam" does originate from "Adem."
        • Well, in Kazakh (another Turkic language) "adam" is the word for "human" regardless of gender. "Adamuly" is the closest Kazakh equivalent to "Adams," but "Adambayev" and "Adambekov" are probably more common.
    • Parsons, Pearson, and the like sound like "person." As does Person itself, which is indeed an uncommon, but not quite rare, surname.
    • Also, "Human" is an actual surname. The city of Humansville, Missouri (yes, that is its real name) was founded and named after James Human.
    • By extension, anybody named "Andrew", "Andrey", "Andrea", or the like. The name comes from old Greek meaning "Man".
  • Guy Mann-Dude, full stop.
  • Many mascots.