Unfortunate Names

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
What Zit Tooya's driver's license

I got my first name from my father, and my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for President.

Barack Hussein Obama, 2008 Al Smith Foundation dinner

If you ask someone their name, and they give you an answer that fits this Trope, chances are you won't take them seriously. You will then find out that yes, that really is their name. No joke. Or it may be a joke, but it still is seriously their name.

Characters under this Trope are saddled with a name that realistically, you'd wouldn't expect a parent to name their kid or, for someone who's of a certain name, they'd choose to go by. This is the kind of name that gets kids made fun of in school—which leads them to snark "Never Heard That One Before" when the jokes continue into adulthood.

Yet, it also happens to be Truth in Television, in many unfortunate cases. Generally, when imposed (fictionally or otherwise) on someone, this will lead to a Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. Real Joke Name is another possible outcome.

Comes in a variety of forms:

  • Double Entendre—The name is one that fits into the Double Entendre Trope. Eg. Pussy Galore
  • Phrase Name—Where the first name and/or last name may sound perfectly normal on its own, but put them together and they make a phrase that sounds like a joke, a trait you wouldn't want to be associated with, or sounds just plain stupid.
  • Pop Culture Name—An example of this Trope being the result of someone being named after a famous pop culture character whose name would ordinarily not enter consideration for use. Examples include Optimus Prime, Kal-El, or ESPN. In this case, the name is already popular, but it isn't something you'd think to call someone under regular circumstances.
  • Rhyming Names—The first and last name rhyme with each other.
  • Unfortunate Coincidences—Regular names that happen to match coincidentally with famous or infamous figures from real life.
    • Joey actually does this to HIMSELF in one episode of Friends
  • Unfortunate Meaning—someone thought the name sounded nice, but apparently had no clue that the name they gave their child describes a disease or a woman's genitalia. (Many of these are urban legends or outright deliberately racist comments; usually, the more defensive the teller gets about these, the more likely he knows they're false.)
  • Have a Gay Old Time—Linguistic drift can hit names quicker than some folks would like. If a name later gets adopted for a sexual term, those who had the name before the drift run afoul of this (those named after, however, run into one of the above issues instead). Eg Dick, Fanny, Gaylord
  • Gender Blender Name—Many names (at least, in American English) were once relatively common and unremarkable as names for male children, but in recent years have become more common for girls, sometimes with minor spelling differences. In the real world there are male Stacys, Danas, Courtneys, Robins, and Ashleys, and yet you only seen those names in modern fiction on women. Likewise, Leslie Nielsen was a man. So someone with old-fashioned parents, or simply a desire to name a baby after an ancestor, might wind up with a "girly" name, such as Mary. Conversely, unfortunate women may end up with a "guy" name; though they are mostly more fortunate.
  • Fun with Acronyms—when the initials spell something silly or offensive.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle-a name that is unremarkable or even good in its own language but travels poorly. Consider Wang Long, Chinese for "king dragon", but dick joke magnet in English. Or a Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese surnamed Ho. Or a Korean surnamed Son.

This only goes for examples where the name is the character or person's legal given name, or the name they most commonly go by. If someone uses it as a temporary alias, that's not this Trope.

Will frequently intersect with Punny Name. When those with Unfortunate Names pronounce them counterintuitively (whether in an effort to save themselves the embarrassment or not), they'll feel compelled to inform people that It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY".

Given human nature, quite a few fairly common names wind up as slang terms. Simply having one of these isn't really an example of this trope, unless it forms a particularly bad combination with the rest of the name.

If just the first or middle name is unfortunate, then it's an Embarrassing First Name or an Embarrassing Middle Name. If a character chooses this name as a Superhero or villain alias, it's Fail O'Suckyname. There's also Names to Run Away From Really Fast, where your name isn't so much embarassing as deeply scary.

This trope is the opposite of Awesome McCoolname, while Plain Name lies in between these two.

Examples of Unfortunate Names include:

Anime and Manga

  • Although Gin, the protagonist of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin, is named for the Japanese word for "silver", western fans probably can't be blamed if the first thing they think of when they hear the name is a certain alcoholic beverage. Admittably one of the tamer cases... especially when one considers that his son is named Weed.
    • More hilarious than unfortunate, but one of the wolves in Nagareboshi Gin is named Red Bull. He gives no one wings, though.
    • Naming your dog after a species of bird is not the dumbest thing you can do in your life. That doesn't mean that you should name your dog Booby.
  • Speed Racer, probably. Honestly, who names their kid "Speed"?

Speed: What kind of a name is "Spritle"? That's not even a word!
Spritle: You think my name is bad? Your name is the rate of motion expressed via distance traveled per units of time!

    • The kind of people who're prophetic enough to know that their son will be the greatest racer ever. (And they themselves are named "Mom" and "Pops", so...)

Pops: What do you guys have to complain about? My wife's name is "Mom". "MOM"! Do you have any idea how awkward that is? Do you have any idea how awkward that is during sex?(All quotes from the Awesome Series)

    • Artifacts of translation, of course, as noted in the Speed Racer article itself. Mifune Go is more properly a Punny Name.
    • Subverted in one of the older comics' first volumes where Speed's name is actually Greg. The Media kept calling him "Speed" instead, so he just went along with it after a while.
  • The eponymous teacher from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei—Nozomu Itoshiki—counts. Thanks to the kanji used in his family name, his full name, read as a single word, can mean "despair". Likewise, the name of his immediate older brother Mikoto can be read as "death" (ironic enough for a doctor), his younger sister Rin "unequaled [in sexual prowess]", his other (estranged) brother Enishi "disinherited", and Enish's son Majiru "breakup" (on account of having to freeload with his youngest uncle, Nozomu). It also extends to the rest of the characters, several of whom consider marriage just to get out of it.
    • But then, the entire series is based around these puns, so it's not surprising.
  • Ranma ½ has Pantyhose Taro, who was given that name by Dirty Old Man and Panty Thief Happosai.
  • Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann may not have that weird a name, but woe betide you if you mispronounce the "m" as "n"—yes, that happens, there is a reason why people say "M for Malta and N for Norway". "Kanina" is Hokkien for "fuck your mother".
    • While this is most likely an accident, Kamina also happens to mean "bastard" in Hindi-Urdu.
    • In Spanish, Kamina sounds the same as the Spanish word Camina ("To walk", translated more or less literally)
    • It might not mean much, but a space between Kami- and -na means "our turn" in Filipino.
    • Kamina itself sounds too much of a feminine name, if you take in consideration the termination -na is mostly used for girl names.
    • It's likely an accident, but both the original and dub pronuncuations of Simon's name sounds a bit too much like "Simone", (which is a girl's name) and "semen", which given the show's themes of genetic material and suspiciously large drills, may be more than slightly appropriate.
    • Another example is "Rinkane Jail", which sounds a lot like "rinkan", which means gang-rape.
    • Yet another example: Viral's first mech is called Enki, which is fine. His second is called Enkidu, which is also a neat reference to The Epic of Gilgamesh. His third is called Enkidudu, which probably sounds OK to a Japanese person, but to an English-speaker...
  • In the dub of Ultimate Muscle, Gazelleman is called Dik Dik van Dik, after a very small type of deer. This is more than likely deliberate; when Adam Sessler reviewed one of the games based off the series and it became a Catch Phrase of sorts for the next year or so.
    • Not to mention, in Dutch his name means fat fat of fat.
    • To be fair, "dikdik" means "pulverize" in Filipino.
  • In the Baccano!! anime adaptation and light novels, one of the storylines revolves around the hijacking of a train by a Cult, a working-class street gang, and The Mafia. This train just happens to be called The Flying Pussyfoot.
    • Just as bad has to be the name of one of the more prominent characters on board that train: Jacuzzi Splot. The DVD Commentary even makes note of this.
  • Sergay Wang, from Mai-Otome.
    • It's even worse for French ears, since in French, Chie means "defecate", while Fuca (Fuka Castle) is a medication against constipation.
  • Quattro Bajeena and Jamitov Hymen, anyone?!
    • "Bajeena" has actually been romanised as "Vagina" on at least some official merchandise.
    • And Kiki from 08th MS Team would be un-PC in the Philippines. Kiki in Filipino means pussy.
      • Similarly, the Miyazaki film Kiki's Delivery Service ran into this same problem, so they changed the protagonist's name.
  • Speaking of the above, Filipinos made an admirable effort in not minding the title Pokémon, which, without the last letter, sounds like the Filipino term, often used as a curse, "your pussy."
  • Also in Zeta Gundam our young protagonist Camille Bidan got into a lot of fisticuffs and even earned a mortal enemy for being noted of having a girl's name.
  • Similar situation for the Spanish dub of Laputa: Laputa: Castle in the Sky. "La puta" in Spanish means "the whore", so they took out the "Laputa" part in the title in several countries, but there's still the issue of the place in the movies the title comes from.
    • Of course, Laputa was adapted from Johnathan Swift, who likely named the island that on purpose. It's more like Did Not Do the Research.
  • All of the Innovators of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 have odd names, which besides those of Tieria and Ribbons tend to be verbs changed into nouns (as in Healing/Hilling Care). One's name is Bring Stability, but the name has also been translated as Bring Stabbity.
  • Kankuro's name from Naruto in both Hungarian dubs is usually pronounced so that it sounds dangerously close to (or exactly like) the language's equivalent of the seldom used expression "boar-fucker". Thankfully, it's not something you can hear every day, so the name didn't have to be changed.
    • In the same vain, Ichigo's family name, Kurosaki, also sounds suspiciously like Hungarian for "expert fucker", but that too is not something you would notice until somebody else points it out.
  • In a dub episode for the 2003 Astro Boy series, there's a guy named Boris Alucard. Eenie meenie mynie mo, catch a bad guy by the toe...
  • One episode of Ouran High School Host Club features a doctor named Yabu (from the Japanese word for "quack", yabuisha), which the Hitachiin brothers note is an unfortunate name for a doctor.
  • Space Battleship Yamato's main protagonist was spared of major snickering in the Philippines since it was the American-dubbed Starblazers that was shown, along with its American names... until the original subbed reached its shores. Susumu is a...very fond way of saying "susu mo", which is the Filipino for "your nipple."
  • Haja, in Rave Master. His name means evil. It's like his parents knew his future.
  • They are the elite Destron soldiers in Transformers Victory; Transformers cower in fear in just hearing their name. They are... the Breastforce!
  • Sai Argyle from Gundam Seed: "Sai" is Hokkien for "shit".
    • His last name is unfortunate, too. Who would want to be named for a pattern most people associate with socks?
  • Sailor Uranus.
  • The lead character of Soukou no Strain usually refers to her mech by its number in the formation, that being "Strain EX". Its actual name? Ram-Dass. Like "Laputa", it's a literary allusion that the production team doesn't seem to have realized sounds dirty.
  • The Death Note spinoff Another Note has someone named Backyard Bottomslash.
  • Despite the character shouldn't be taken too seriously anyway, it can be difficult to take Maria Osawa from Canaan seriously because her name is one dakuten[1] off from the (in)famous Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa.
  • Chikubi, the class hamster in Mitsudomoe. The little guy's name means "Nipples", chosen because boob-lover Futaba thought his tail reminded her of one. The name stuck.
  • The name of one of the Spectres in Saint Seiya is... Troll Ivan. Take that as you will.
  • The first episode of Black Cat has a Banana Republic strongman with the trustworthy name of Lib Tyrant.
  • Dragon Ball gives us Bulma and Chi-Chi, whose names mean "bloomers" and "breasts" respectively. In fact, Bulma's family is this trope thanks to Theme Naming (her family's names being under garment themed).
  • While Hao from Shaman King has a perfectly respectable name in Japan, he spends a good portion of his life as a Native American.
  • One character who appears in the second part of Armored Trooper VOTOMS is named Pol Potaria. Yeah.
  • In Steel Ball Run, a racer named Hot Pants turns out to be a woman disguised as a man. And yet no one ever caught on until someone accidentally groped her.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is notorious for its bizarre naming sense. Some choice examples include Vanilla Ice, Weather Report, Guess and Doobie.
    • All of these are intentional; several names are references to a musician, band, or song.
  • Claymore contains a minor character named Uranus. She has a rather dirty fighting style. Fortunately for less mature English-speaking readers, she is killed off a few pages after being introduced.
  • in the dub version of the Virtual Nightmare Arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, one of the Big 5 was Adrian Randolph Crump III.[2] Downplayed, as he did actually seem proud of his name, though viewers might disagree.

Comic Books

  • Archie Comics: Something like "I'm Mr. Chovy, and I want to know why my daughter Ann didn't make it into the yearbook."
  • The Archie comics continuity saddled poor Sonic the Hedgehog with the name Olgilvie Maurice Takeshi Hedgehog.
  • The DCU has poor Empress, from the former Young Justice. Real name: Anita Fite.
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner of Marvel Comics. While there's nothing wrong with his name proper (Namor meaning "Avenging Son", appropriately enough) he has an unfortunate nickname: Subby. It's worth noting that it's a short list of people who get to call him "Subby" without having a hole punched through their head, mostly people he served with in World War II.
  • The Crush!Yiff!Destroy! review of Extinctioners said it best: "Each character is also burdened with a ridiculous name -- look, there's a gorilla named Warfare! And a panda named Pandamonium! And a phoenix named Phenix!"
  • Marvel Comics' Nova. His name is Richard. Richard Ryder. Now what do people call Richard for short?
  • Also, DC villain Blackguard, real name Richard Hertz, prefers people to call him Dick. He doesn't see what's so funny about it.
  • The eponymous character of The Adventures of Tintin can be considered this in certain parts of the Philippines. Specifically the parts where the local language's (the Philippines has several) colloquial term for, well, the penis sounds exactly like Tintin's name.
  • There's a great example in the comic strip Watch Your Head, a female basketball player named Takoma Washington.
  • Everyone from Funky Winkerbean's cast who had a Punny Name in the strip's original gag-a-day format. Les Moore, Holly Budd, Harry Dinkle, "Bull" Buska, Fred Fairgood, Jack Stropp, John Darling, Ed Crankshaft...
  • When Spider-Man villain Shocker was first named, it didn't have any other connotations. Of course, now that it's slang for a sexual act, you'd think he'd change his name.
  • Golden Age British space hero Dan Dare had an eager youthful sidekick named Flamer (because he had red hair). The term didn't have the same, um, connotations back then.
    • It still doesn't in Britain; the UK Burger King offers the "Flamer" because the US name, "Broiler", doesn't mean anything to Brits.
  • Young Avengers member Asgardian (who didn't even have anything to do with the Norse pantheon) was advised by his teammates to change his hero-name almost immediately after he went public with his relationship with male teammate Hulkling.
  • In IDW's Transformers comics (Last Stand of the Wreckers, to be exact), there is a bit-part character called Dipstick. Ow.
    • And given the in-universe slang, the Dinobot Slag is particularly unfortunately named. (Not that it's an entirely fortuitous name for a robot even only with the real-world meaning.)
    • One Decepticon subteam is called the "Breastforce". And one Autobot Micromaster was unlucky enough to be named "Erector".
  • Teen Titans had a fire-element character named Joto, which suitably means "heat" in Swahili. However, when adapting the character to the cartoon, writers were horrified to learn that the far more familiar, Spanish translation of the exact same word is "faggot." He was renamed Hotspot and remains so, even in the comic.
  • In recent portrayals of his origin, the child who would become Superboy of Earth-Prime (which was supposed to be the real world) was picked on by his peers for being named Clark Kent, "after a comic book character."
  • In certain parts of the world the name Peter has been given the same treatment as Dick; so it may come as a surprise to the people in those places that no one has yet asked, "So... where DO you Park your Peter?" (And then there's this certain Alien Symbiote obsessed to become the answer to that question...)
    • Sir Peter Parker is a former head of British Rail.
  • Poor Dick Grayson. Luckily for him, he has a great sense of humor, so he makes a joke out of it. "I'm Dick." "What?!" "No, no, that's my name." Cue smarmy grin.

Starfire: I love Dick!
Beast Boy: So I've heard.

  • In one 'Dilbert strip Dogbert suggests that the company rename itself by picking random words from astronomy and physics... The result is "Uranus Hertz."
    • The animated series showed them trying to identify their company name after a merger. The original company was "Pathways Technologies" and they merged with "E-Tech Management." The result was the accurately named "Path-E-Tech Management."
    • Dilbert's company introduces an email format where your account name is your first initial and last name. Someone named Brenda Utthead asks if she can have a different one.
  • In Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels, Stan the Man has a chuckle with Kevin Smith about the letters he got in the 1960s from readers concerned over Peter Parker feeling attracted to a new character called Mary Jane, or 'MJ' for short.
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing.
  • In the German comic Mingamanga, Mustafa's last name is Süzer, which sounds much like "Süßer" (sweetie).
  • The miniseries Superman: Secret Identity is about a character named Clark Kent in a world where Superman comics exist. He's teased at school, getting Superman-themed presents for every birthday gets old fast, and as an adult his friends keep setting him up with women named Lois.
  • An anti-smoking comic passed out to students in the nineties had a cat-girl character named Nicki Teen; This Canadian comic about the dangers of drinking features Captain Al Cohol. It should be noted that these characters (well, Nicki was, not sure about the Captain) are the drug-free heroes, not victims or enablers.


  • In Red Sky At Morning, based on the book by Richard Bradford, there are sexy teenaged twin sisters named Venery Ann and Velva Mae Cloyd.
  • In The Wedding Singer, lead female Julia figures out her married name will be Julia Gulia. She doesn't take it well.
  • Pick a James Bond movie. Any James Bond movie. Chances are good at least one of the Bond Girls will have a name that fits this trope. Examples include Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, Plenty O'Toole, Xenia Onatopp, and Octopussy. Quantum of Solace played with and lampshaded the trope, as redhead Agent Fields is very insistent about being called by that, and not revealing her first name Strawberry.
  • Hot Fuzz had someone named P.I. Staker (pisstaker), and Nicholas thought it was a joke.
  • The Austin Powers series parodies the Bond Girl names. Examples include Fook Mi and Fook Yu, Felicity Shagwell, Alotta Fagina, Ivana Humpalot, and Robin Swallows (nee Spitz). During an in-character interview, Mike Meyers claimed that Alotta Fagina went on to change her name and moved to a tropical Island. Her new name is Sandy.
  • Gaylord Focker from Meet the Parents. Later in the movie the parents work out that the daughter would be called Pamela Martha Focker if she adopted the new surname.
  • In Charlie's Angels Full Throttle Dylan revealed her name, before going into Witness Protection, was Helen Zass. This resulted in a Hurricane of Puns from the other two Angels. To make this pun work in German, the dubbers had to rename her "Helen Sarsch".
  • One of the engineers in Office Space was named Michael Bolton. He hates the singer who shares his name, but won't change it because, as he puts it, "He's the one who sucks."
  • The focus of an especially funny scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Pilate: I have a vewy gweat fwiend in Wome called "Biggus Dickus"... He has a wife, you know. Do you know what she's called? Incontinentia. Incontinentia Buttocks.

  • Welcome to the Castle Anthrax!
    • It's not a very good name, is it?
    • Midget! Crapper!
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights had Latrine, the witch. Though that was what she changed it into. It used to be Shithouse. The Sheriff of Rottingham, aside from that title, is actually named Mervin, much to his embarassment.
  • There are a couple of unfortunate nicknames(is there a trope for that?) in Star Wars and its EU. A scene cut from A New Hope has Luke's friends calling him "Wormy"; a comic where Biggs and Luke are together before Biggs leaves has Biggs use that name repeatedly while establishing poor Luke as a bit of a Butt Monkey. The X Wing Series comics show that Wedge Antilles used to be called "Veggies", but this seems less like a shameful name (family friends called him that when he was a kid, and he doesn't seem to mind) than like a childhood nickname. And let's not forget "little Ani", so traumatised by this name that he fell to the Dark Side...
    • The first novel of the X Wing Series has Wedge assigned a new astromech droid. Like all astromechs except Luke's, it has a nickname, and this one is called Mynock. Wedge asks it if it got that name from drawing a lot of power(mynocks leech off of power supplies), and it tells him via text interface that a pilot it served previously said that "I screamed like a mynock when we were in combat. A slander, Commander." Wedge says he understands, and no one likes being thought of as a space rat. In combat Mynock does indeed scream incessantly, and eventually this annoys Wedge enough that he threatens to wipe the droid's memories. And he does. "Gate" is much quieter.
    • And of course there's Han Solo and the Emperor's Hand.
    • The EU also has a character named Baytes. A prank on the editor insisting Jedi be addressed as "Master" that was never supposed to see print, and it wouldn't have if not for an editor swap.
      • Not as unfortunate when you think of Darth Vader when they call him master. Master Vader.
    • How can you mention Star Wars without bringing up an incidence of this from the very first movie? Why they chose to name a rather...portly...Rebel pilot Porkins, we will never know.
    • How about the cantina band from A New Hope? According to the EU, their style of music is called Jizz. So bad some toy packaging calls it Juzz instead.
    • The long-necked Jedi master seen from behind in the Jedi Council chamber for about one scene in Episode I is called Yarael Poof. We can only assume that his first name is pronounced "Ya real".
  • In Zack and Miri Make a Porno there is "Lester the Molester" which seems to be his real name with the exchange:

Zack: What's your name?
Lester: Lester... Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
Zack: Wow. That's a great porn name.
Lester: I get to pick a porn name?... Then I want to be called... Pete Jones.


  • Captain Underpants: Everyone from Professor Poopypants's home country. Poopypants later changes his name to something he thought was less silly. What was that name? Tippy Tinkletrousers.
    • The teachers at George and Harold's school have names like "Ms. Ribble," "Miss Anthrope," and "Mr. Rected."
  • The Wild Road has A LOT. "One For Sorrow," (magpie) "Loves A Dustbin" (fox), "Ragnar Gustaffsoun Coeur de Lion," "Pertelot Fitzgerald of Hi-Fashion," "Mousebreath," "Fish Head Lil," AND Mercurius Realtime DeNeuve (cats).
  • Discworld has several examples:
    • Moist von Lipwig ("He'd heard every possible joke.") and Adora Belle Dearheart (who claims that after growing up with a name like that, she has "no sense of humor whatsoever.")
    • The Carter family, who named their daughters after virtues (Chastity, and so forth), then didn't get the clue and named their sons after vices (Bestiality, etc). Or you could say they did get the clue. Both daughters and sons turned out to be opposities of their names, so the sons' names worked out all right.
    • Then we have Queen Magrat and Princess Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre. "Magrat" came about because her mother couldn't spell "Margaret", so she tried to make sure the same thing wouldn't happen to her daughter, with the aforementioned disastrous results thanks to Lancre's inconvenient baptism traditions. She is comforted by the thought of a villager named Moocow Poorchick whose full name is "James What The Hell Is That Cow Doing In Here Poorchick", and the fact that long ago Lancre was ruled by King My God He's Heavy the First. Mention is also made of a little girl who was almost named Chlamydia, until her mother decided "Sally" was easier to spell.
    • Mrs. Cake's spirit familiar, One Man Bucket. His tribe had a tradition that a kid is named after the first thing the mother sees after sticking her head out of the tepee. One Man Bucket's full name is "One Man Throwing A Bucket Of Water Over Two Dogs." His slightly older twin brother's name? Let's just say "He would have given his right arm to be called "Two-Dogs-Fighting."
    • Ponder Stibbons and Carcer Dun both fit in the "words that aren't names" category, causing one to wonder just how each of them came by those names.
      • One could say that Ponder is a guy who likes to ponder the nature of the multiverse and such. "Carcer Dun" appears to be a corruption of Carcharodon (shark), given said character's habits. "Carcer" is Latin for "prison," while Dun in a perfectly normal surname, leading to a Meaningful Name with the added bonus of sounding namelike.
      • Maybe Ponder's parents were hoping for a girl they wanted to name 'Muse'
    • Denephew Boot. His parents were expecting a girl.
    • Rosemary Palm.
    • Cheery Littlebottom. Whose father was Jolly. And whose grandfather was Cheeky. Seems to be a bit of a family tradition.
      • And yes, they're dwarves.
      • In the original dwarfish, their surname is rendered as a homonym for "Short-arse".
    • There's also Legitimate First from Night Watch. Even the other characters wonder at his name, and the explanation is, "Can't blame a mother for being proud."
    • Making Money features Topsy Lavish, nee Turvy ("Topsy Turvy... it had kind of a music-hall feel to it")
    • In Interesting Times, the Agatean Master of Protocol is named Two Little Wang. He wouldn't mind it so much if it weren't for the unlucky number.
    • Havelock Vetinari, known to some as Dog-Botherer.
    • Hogfather has everyone's favorite psychotic Assassin, Jonathon Teatime (allegedly pronounced "te-ah-tim-eh").
    • Omnians favor longwinded and reverent names such as Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets. Thankfully, most of them are fairly easy to truncate (the aforementioned character is usually just called "Visit"), but that isn't much comfort to the guy who ended up as "Mightily Oats".
    • The rats in The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents named themselves after words on tins and signs. Their Blind Seer is "Dangerous Beans". Which kind of sounds like "Diogenes", but sounds a lot more like ... something else.
    • The Ankh-Morporkian ambassador to Zlobenia in Monstrous Regiment is named Clarence Chinny. As he himself puts it, when asked by Sam Vimes: "Were you a good fighter at school?" "No, sir, but no one could beat me over the fifty yard dash."
  • Good Omens has Pippin Galadriel Moonchild (her mother was going through a very brief "hippie" phase), better known as Pepper. Last name not given.
    • There's also the female protagonist, named Anathema Device. Her mother had just liked the sound...
    • And finally we have Newton Pulsifer's ancestor, Witchfinder Corporal Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer. Newton's reaction to learning about him is "I suppose if I'd gone around being called Adultery Pulsifer, I'd want to hurt as many people as possible.".
  • There is Hell Tanner in Damnation Alley, stuck with the name because when asked for a name his father exclaimed "Hell!" Ironically, almost no one believes it is actually his NAME.
  • And a similar case in R/A/Lafferty's THE FLAME IS GREEN, where Ifreann Chortevich is named because his mother said "Och ifreann!" (Irish for "Oh, Hell!) Of course, the alleged father IS the Devil...
  • In John Ross' UNINTENDED CONSQUENCES, a character upon being introduced is identified only as G.G. something. In partial explanation, we get a passage about how malicious interns delight in tricking patients into naming their children things like "Nosmo King". Only after she is killed are we told what the initials stand for.. the joker tricked a poor woman into naming her "Gonorrhea" by pronouncing it "Gone-OWR-ee-ah".
  • A probably unintentional example in Lord Brocktree of the Redwall series: how did the author, an ex-trucker, think that "Stiffener Medick" was a sensible name to give to a character in a children's book? Especially since the target audience is just old enough to not need Parental Bonus jokes in their books ... (At the Official Fanfiction University, jokes about Stiffener's name are his Berserk Button. Since the place is filled with teenagers, he has to endure a lot of jokes.) Oh, and then there's the fox named "Felch". One hopes it means something different in the Juska language. As for the non-obscene but still unlucky names, there's Jodd's full name and most of the vermin names, since vermin are usually Only Known by Their Nickname and tend to be nicknamed with unflattering physical descriptions - "Redtooth" isn't too bad, but "Halfnose" and "Stinky" are pushing it.
  • While he was Captain of the Phoenix Guards, Khaavren had a subordinate called Sergeant, who was actually a lieutenant.
    • This seems likely to be a Shout-Out to Major Major Major Major from Catch 22.
  • The Inheritance Cycle has an unintentional example in the form of Solembum. The author evidently didn't know what "bum" was used to refer to outside the USA.
    • Actually, it means 'butt' in the US, too. It's a childish word, but it still left him as "solemn-butt".
  • There is a children's book in circulation entitled My Pet Dick. Dick is a duck.
  • Harry Potter's "Nymphadora Tonks." See Accidental Innuendo. She insists on being known only as "Tonks", but that isn't really much of an improvement.
    • And given the prejudice against werewolves in the setting, Remus Lupin's parents are perhaps the perfect demonstration of Hermione's claim that "most wizards haven't an ounce of logic".
  • David Weber's Empire of Man series has the unfortunately named Ima Hooker. She is aware of the implications and so was her father when he named her.
  • There's this guy who was named Apropos at birth. He was knighted, but had no land to rule. Thus, Sir Apropos of Nothing.
  • Dick and Jane. Just Dick and Jane.
    • Their British Ladybird Books opposite numbers are Peter and Jane.
      • Tempts one to write a parody about "Percy and Jane" or "Willy and Jane", doesn't it?
  • In Oliver Twist, there's a character named Charley Bates. He's referred to numerous times as "Master Bates".

"Wipes," replied Master Bates; at the same time producing four pocket-handkerchiefs... Master Bates saw something so exquisitely ludicrous in this reply, that he burst into another laugh; which laugh, meeting the coffee he was drinking, and carrying it down some wrong channel, very nearly terminated in his premature suffocation.

  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
  • The Dean Koontz novel Life Expectancy features a villainous clown by the name of Konrad Beezo. He wanted his son to follow in his footsteps (the kid was a hopeless clown but an equally good villain) and saddled him with the name of Punchinello Beezo, which would frankly be enough of a Freudian Excuse on its own without all the rest of the hell the poor kid went through. ("Punchinello" is one spelling of Pulcinella, a clown character in the Commedia Dell'Arte, from which we get Punch of Punch & Judy fame.)
    • Koontz loves doing this to his villains. There's also Shearman Waxx (Relentless), Corky Laputa (The Face), Edgler Vess (Intensity), Junior (From the Corner of His Eye), and Candy (a male character in The Bad Place).
  • Maximum Ride features a mad scientist whose last name is ter Borcht. Yes, it's pronounced like the soup. Yes, there's at least one "soup doctor" joke. To compound the agony, his physical description is a near-match for Arnold Schwarzenegger, his first name is Roland, he's burdened with an accent that could strip paint, and he spends all his screen time in the books being tormented by Max. And the fans wonder why Max has a substantial Hatedom.
  • The hobbit-like Soddits in The Soddit, who earned their popular name because the explorer that first discovered them was so traumatized by the experience he could only shudder and mumble "sod it" into his next tankard of ale.
  • A very not funny example from Warrior Cats: Lostface. After she got half her face permanently disfigured from a dog mauling. Yes, Bluestar was deliberately being cruel. Thankfully, she got renamed a few books later.
    • The series has many funny examples too though: Runningnose, Loudbelly, and Heavystep, to name a few.
  • A few of the names from Nick's list of Gatsby's guests from July 5th: The Leeches, the Fishguards, the Ripley Snells, Mrs. Ulysses Swett, S.B. Whitebait, Maurice A. Flink, Gulick, James B. "Rot-gut" Ferret, the Scullys, S.W. Belcher, and the Smirks.
  • Spellsinger's Jonathan Thomas Meriweather, a.k.a. Jon-Tom, isn't acknowledged as having an unfortunate name in the books, but since "John Thomas" is slang for penis in some parts of the world ...
  • In Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel, the protagonist's wife is named Jezebel. She prefers to be called Jessie, after her husband (named Elijah, of course) tried to convince her the historical Jezebel wasn't as bad as her reputation. She had been proud of the name.
  • The Gods of the American Gods universe sometimes end up with names like this out of their efforts to disguise their identity through Stephen Ulysses Perhero type names. One is Mr. Nancy/Anansi. The title Anansi Boys is a play on the term "a nancy boy", a derisive term for homosexuals, and the fact that Anansi has taken this name is probably a testament to his comfort with his sexuality. There's also the matter of Shadow's real name as revealed in a side-story Balder Moon which besides being the kind of name you wouldn't want to saddle your child with, makes you wonder why he didn't previously realize his identity.
  • In The Walker Papers by C.E. Murphy, one of the most respective detectives on the Seattle Police force is a Wholesome Crossdresser named ... Billy Holiday.
  • A running gag in Joan Hess's Maggody mysteries is the cockamamie names that Stump County residents apply to their kids. Some get phonetically-spelled versions of words that might've been tolerable (if rustic) had they spelled correctly, like Hospiss; others sport names that the parents just thought sounded interesting, like Rubella Belinda. Occasionally this is elevated to a Weird Theme Name trope, as with brothers Diesel and Petrol.
  • In the UK, reprints of the Faraway Tree books have changed the children's names to get around this: Jo becomes Joe (since the "Jo" spelling is now normally used for girls), Fanny becomes Franny and Dick becomes Rick. Bessie's name is possibly the least unfortunate (though it is the "stereotypical" nickname for a cow), but is rather archaic regardless.
  • The Alpha Bitch of the Babysitters Club books is nicknamed "Cokie" Mason. The character considers her actual first name (Marguerite) to be an Embarrassing First Name, for some reason.
  • Renesmee Carlie Cullen.
  • In his novel The Witches of Karres, James H. Schmitz has a black-clad, cynical, somewhat gloomy and pessimistic young witch by the name of Goth. Note that the original short story was written in 1949, and expanded into a novel in 1969. Names don't have to be created that way to become unfortunate.
  • In one of the Jiggy McCue books, there's a boy called Harry Potter.
  • In the Dark Lord of Derkholm, one of the (naturally male) dwarves Derk runs into is named Galadriel. Derk can't help wondering about his parents...
  • The later Gaunt's Ghosts novels have a trooper called Cant. No Country Matters are invoked, but when your name invokes failure at all turns, that's bad enough.
  • In the Hooker/Butterworth M*A*S*H novels there's a pompous newscaster whose name is Dan Rhotten. He constantly has to remind people that it's pronounced "ROW-ten."
  • Winnie the Pooh.
  • Don't recall the title, but there's a Police Procedural novel in which a pair of patrol cops are named Albert Hardy and Ernest Laurel. Neither would invoke this trope alone, but as partners, they're stuck either being Laurel & Hardy or Bert & Ernie.
  • He's barely even mentioned, but George R.R. Martin must have been snickering to himself when he named a character in A Song of Ice and Fire Dickon Manwoody.
  • Moby Dick. It doesen't help he's an albino sperm whale...
  • Donald Duk from the 1991 young adult novel of the same name by Frank Chin. The character even has a mom named Daisy.
  • The Klingon Qagh in Star Trek: Forged in Fire; it's tlhIngan Hol (Klingon) for "mistake". Another Klingon in Star Trek: Seven Deadly Sins is named "Targ"; a targ is a Klingon pig.
  • The Name of the Novel "Jack Vance: Servants of the Wankh". http://www.cracked.com/article_14790_the-best-worst-fantasy-science-fiction-book-covers_p3.html

Live-Action TV

  • Firefly: Jayne Cobb. River says it best, "Jayne is a girl's name."
    • "Yeah well Jayne ain't a girl!"
  • The IT Crowd gave us Peter File, who was unfortunate enough to be paged over an airport loudspeaker. This is probably referencing Brass Eye, who did that joke in the 2001 special; creator Graham Linehan was one of the writers of the special.
  • On Murphy Brown, Corky Sherwood married a man whose last name was Forrest, making her married name Corky Sherwood-Forrest. (She freaked out over it when she finally realized it a few hours before the wedding.) Rather amusingly, the actress who played Corky, Faith Ford, was married at the time to a man whose last name was Nottingham.
  • In Scrubs, one of the reasons Jordan divorced Dr. Cox (at least according to her) was because his name is, well, Dr. Cox. The problem with this is illustrated in this clip.
    • And let's not forget Keith, whose last name is Dudemeister. "It's German, it means master of the dudes."
    • No mention of Private Dancer?
  • Robin Charles Scherbatsky Jr. is the king of this trope. Why? Because the name belongs to a girl. The same show gave us Theodore Evelyn Mosby.
    • One episode has a poor girl named Cook Pu. Ted unfortunately thinks that this is a prank name his students edited onto his attendance sheet in order to make him look stupid, and goes about mocking them at length for not having enough imagination to come up with a name less lame and obvious than "Cook Pu". He does feel terrible when he realizes that it's actually a real name — when the student in question runs out of his class in tears. Oops.
  • Chrissy from Three's Company? Her full name is Christmas Noelle Snow.
    • It was actually plot-relevant in one episode where she had a minor head injury, and no one at the hospital would believe it was her real name.
  • In Alien Nation, a ship full of alien refugees with unpronounceable names arrives on Earth and all are assigned human names. Naming thousands of people can get pretty tedious, so the ones near the end of the line ended up with names like Sam Francisco, Rudyard Kipling, etc.
    • The names were somewhat difficult but not prohibitively so: George Francisco (formerly Sam) was Stangya Soren'tzah and Cathy Frenkel was Gelana Vray, for example. Also, the names were selected not only for absurdity or evocation of famous humans, but also with irony or malice: a not-so-bright Tenktonese was called Albert Einstein, and another one interested in having an electric articles store was named Thomas Alva Edison. And, strangely, years after the descent, the immigration office still is funny with names: in the TV movie Dark Horizon the newly arrived Aphossno is named Norman Conquest.
    • Since the film was implicitly referencing Ellis Island clerks who "Americanized" immigrant names they had trouble pronouncing, this was probably intentional. The clerks weren't even smart enough to turn Stangya Soren'tzah into Stanley Sorenson.
    • Also, in The Film of the Series, Sam Francisco comments to Sykes (after he had said Sam's name sounded embarrassing) that "Sykes" sounds like the aliens' word for "shithead".
  • On Married... with Children, Marcy Rhodes takes the news that she got married to a man she doesn't remember meeting in a ceremony she also doesn't remember surprisingly well... but she's much less pleased to learn that her name is now Marcy D'Arcy.
    • Once, Peggy and the kids are going through the phone book looking for a new last name. Perfectly good names keep getting rejected because Kelly can't spell them. So they end up using "Cat". Buck was especially thrilled. Funnily enough, in another episode Kelly can't even spell that right.
  • The generally unfortunate Doctor Who companion Peri Brown's real first name is Perpugilliam. (Yes, she's from Earth.)
  • A Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch called "Mr. and Mrs. Git" had a family with the surname "Git". They had "A Sniveling Little Rat-Faced Git" and his wife "Dreary Fat Boring Old Git". The Gits had named their children "Dirty Lying Little Two-Faced" and "Ghastly Horrible Spotted Vicious Little". They do recognize that it's unfortunate for them to have a surname like "Git", but given their horrible first names they recognize that changing it won't do them much good. Then again, as the sketch goes on you learn they're actually quite horrible people to go with the names, so it's all... Ok?
    • Mr. Smokestoomuch. Apparently it wasn't a burden, he was well into adulthood before he figured it out.
  • At the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia class reunion, it is revealed that Mac has been going by a nickname because his birth name is Ronald McDonald.
  • On 30 Rock, a newly engaged Cerie gushed about her future children: "I already have all the names picked out. If it's a girl, 'Bookcase'. Or 'Sandstorm'. Or maybe 'Hat'... but that's more of a boy's name."
    • Also the guy in charge of dealing with sexual harassment cases is named Jeffrey Wienerslave.
    • And one cannot forget Wesley Snipes.

Wesley Snipes: "If you were shown a picture of him and a picture of me, and were asked, 'Who should be named Wesley Snipes', you'd pick the pale Englishman every time! Every time, Liz!"

  • A segment on Have I Got News for You centered around the very poorly named Randy Bumgardner.
    • They also noted that his mother's maiden name was Mincey, so he could potentially have become a Mincey-Bumgardner.
  • The Depressed Persian Tow Truck Man's full name is Mofaz Idi Amin Pulpat Stalin Bin Laden Manson Johnson Always. With Wings. Supposedly there's a Hussein in there, too.
  • Arrested Development gives us Bob Loblaw, a lawyer. His website is Bob Loblaw's Law Blog, and one throwaway headline in the show reads "Bow Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb".
    • And of course there's the surrogate, Larry Middleman.
  • Saturday Night Live had a few notable examples:
    • A sketch called "The Life and Times of Johnny Hildo." The inability of everyone to understand that it's Hildo (with an H) drives him to commit murder. His cellmate is Larry Bagina.
    • Alec Baldwin's Pete Schweddy (the guy who makes Schweddy Balls and Schweddy Weiners)
    • Christoper Walken's one-shot character Colonel Angus (later renamed Enol after being drummed out of the service during the Civil War)
    • Or Nic Cage's Asswipe (pronounced "ah-swee-pay") Johnson
    • Or, going back even earlier, Lord and Lady Douchebag
    • Earthquake News Report, which is the aftermath of the government change of name office being hit by an earthquake. It also has a sequel sketch.
  • Myke Hawke, pronounced like "Mike Hawk". Try saying his name real fast.
  • "Finn and Quinn": One of the worst-best Portmanteau Couple Names ever, and probably intentional, too. "Sue and Schue" is another such example.
    • Finn and his pregnant girlfriend Quinn discussing baby names:

Finn: And then I thought up the perfect name - DRIZZLE!

    • In another example from this series, of the Unfortunate Meaning variety, one of the girls from the Jane Addams Academy is named Aphasia.
  • Love Connection introduces a 26-year-old man who loves beer and loud music. He currently works in gift sales and his mom seems to have some issues with his love life. Ladies and gentlemen, Robert Fagot.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Sara Sidle. Go on, try saying it quickly.
    • Hers may be somewhat punny, but now D.B. has her beat in the name department. "Seeing Red" revealed his full name is Diebenkorn Russell. No wonder he uses D.B.
  • University Challenge had one contestant called Steve Raper. To make matters worse, he represented the University of Bath, so every time he buzzed in The Announcer said "Bath Raper", which sounds like a Serial Killer sobriquet.
    • Likewise, Martin Heighway (pronounced "highway") of the Open University: "Open Heighway".
  • A subplot in Hill Street Blues had Det. La Rue trying to help the career of a struggling standup comic named Vic Hitler, who had made a deathbed promise to his father to keep the family name.
  • Stringfellow Hawke, of Airwolf. Perhaps one of the most memorable names of all TV characters. He gets to share a laugh with one Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III over each other's names.
  • One episode of Cheers had Carla trying to get around a family naming tradition that would have unintentionally forced the name "Benito Mussolini" onto her unborn baby.
  • Captain Darling from Blackadder Goes Forth. The creators said that as soon as they came up with the name for him, he went from a totally empty character to one who'd been steeped in a lifetime's worth of bitterness and resentment from being called "darling" by everyone.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: A girl in Dewey's class at school is caled Regina Tucker. Reese is still unable to think up a sleazy nickname for her.
  • The Malaysian government tried to ban Power Rangers because their title "Mighty Morphin'". And morphine is a drug.
  • While not treated as such in-show, Captain Hunnicutt of |M*A*S*H arguably has one of these in "BJ". You may think that the modern connotation of that initialism probably hadn't been developed yet in The Fifties, but there is a scene in one episode that offers a possible nod-and-a-wink to this. A visiting nurse asks Hunnicutt what BJ stands for. Before he can answer, Hawkeye quickly interrupts with, "Anything you like." Another episode, however, has him explain that he was named for his parents, Bea and Jay.
  • [[Are You Being Served? featured Wilberforce Claybourne Humphries.
  • The Thick of It: "Elvis... sorry, Cliff!" Malcolm Tucker cruelly points out that Cliff Lawton MP may not have the most appropriate name in British politics.
  • Home and Away has Marilyn Chambers. Unlike her RL namesake, though, she really is 99 44/100% pure.
  • NCIS has Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
  • Chandler Muriel Bing from Friends.
    • Also: Rachel's chiropracter.

Rachel: Excuse me, Dr. Bobby happens to be an excellent doctor.
Dr. Green: Wait a minute, his name is Dr. Bobby?
Rachel: Well that's his last name.
Ross: And his first name.
Dr. Green: He's Bobby Bobby?
Rachel: It's Robert Bobby.

  • T. J. Hooker
  • Chuck is given a number by Casey so he can request military support on a mission. Casey says that he will be redirected to a Colonel Sanders, and tells Chuck not to make fun of his name.
  • Britta on Community. What is she, a water filter?
  • The first episode of the sitcom Joanie Loves Chachi garnered a huge viewing audience in Korea... because in Korean, Chachi's name means "penis."
  • Vyvyan Basterd. The surname by itself is pretty unfortunate, but the owner of the full name is a boy. Oddly enough, though, it proves to be a perfect fit for him.
  • One episode of Pushing Daisies features lonely client Randy Mann.
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Ted encounters a name on his roster that he thinks is fake, and berates the class for being so lame.

Ted: Okay, I mean seriously what kind of fake name is Cook Poo?
Cook Poo: [sheepish and humiliated] Here...

    • And it becomes a running gag at the bar when Ted mouths off about the ridiculous name again, and the poor girl happens to be there to pick up a to-go order. So we get another round of "... Cook Poo!" "Here..."
  • In a bit on The Daily Show, before he left for his own show, Stephen Colbert confessed that his name was Ted Hitler. "No relation. Okay, well, distant relation. Two generations. Straight up. Okay, Hitler was my grandfather!"
  • In Keeping Up Appearances the main character, an inveterate snob, is Hyacinth Bucket, though she insists on pronouncing it Bouquet and gets very stroppy when others call her Mrs. Bucket. Her husband, Richard, from whom she obviously got the name, is not embarrassed by his surname at all and tends to roll his eyes when he hears her correcting people.
  • In Married With Children, Marcy gets married in Las Vegas to a man she just met... and finds out the next day that her name is now Marcy Darcy.
  • Rosalie "Hotsie" Totsie from Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • Major Dad: Polly McGillis. A normal enough name, until we discover in one episode that her middle name is Esther. No, Major John McGillis could not stop himself from making the obvious joke.


  • In Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue," best known for Johnny Cash's cover version, the narrator's father names him Sue so that he'll grow up tough. It works, but the narrator still resents the name and at the end of the song vows that when he has a son of his own he'll name him "anything but Sue."
  • The Arrogant Worms' song "A Night In Dildo" celebrates the many unfortunate place names in Newfoundland.

From Woody's Point to Come-By-Chance to good ol' Fairyland
Come take a look at Gander; Blackhead's mighty grand...

  • わたしのココ (Watashinokoko) once had the name Kesson Shoujo. So did a naughty Japanese comic with a loose grasp on biology.
  • Taco Ockerse, best known for "Puttin' On The Ritz." Yes, that was his birth name.
  • CeCe Peniston, best known for her gay anthem "Finally" which was featured on the Priscilla Queen of the Desert soundtrack. Despite her surname sounding like a term for male genitalia, she apparently hasn't sought to either change it or perform under a stage name. And lucky for her, despite Google doggedly censoring anything remotely offensive, her name isn't minced on search suggestions.


  • Kopreus was an uncle of king Eurystheus of Mycene, who had the job of delivering Eurystheus' orders about what the next Labour was going to be to Herakles. "Kopreus" means "dung-heap".
  • Also Uranus, father of the Titans, but not in the original language. In Greek, Uranus (or more properly Ouranos) means "sky" or "heaven".

Pro Wrestling

  • Former ECW wrestler Balls Mahoney is an obvious example. According to his backstory, he learned to fight at a young age, fighting off bullies who picked on him because of his name. He seems to have embraced it as he got older, though, considering how Double Entendre-laced his promos were and his selection of AC/DC's "Big Balls" as his entrance theme.
  • World Championship Wrestling had a golfing character named Stewart Pain. Then the real Payne Stewart died in a plane crash. They kept the gimmick, but changed the name.
  • Teddy Hart, whose real name is Ted Annis, whose last name rhymes with... well, you know...
  • ROH's Eddie Edwards. Worse, it ISN'T A RING NAME.


  • The final round of the Panel Game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is invariably "Late Arrivals", where the contestants come up with silly names for announcements of late arrivals at a ball for a specified demographic, usually (true to form) very bad puns. For example:

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Interior Decorators' ball, please welcome Mr and Mrs Wall-Carpets and their son Walter Wall-Carpets."

    • A running gag is to include Gordon Bennett, a British exclamation of annoyance. As in, at the Builders' Ball:

"Please welcome Mr and Mrs Bennett-That's-Twice-The-Estimate and their son Gordon!"

  • Not forgetting Radio Active's Mike Hunt.
  • The Adventures in Odyssey episode "Merchant of Odyssey" introduced an IRS agent with a name Edwin Blackgaard (not the most fortunate name to begin with) had to feel pity for.

Harold Leech: My name is Leech.
Edwin: I'm so sorry.

  • When he was writing the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, Douglas Adams specifically chose the character name "Slartibartfast" because he wanted that character to be "weighted down by some secret sorrow," and further decided that the "secret sorrow" in question was that the character had a really unfortunate name. He explained that he had wanted a name that sounded very rude but could still be broadcast on the radio: he started with Phartiphuckborlz, and worked upwards. Granted, alongside names like "Zaphod Beeblebrox", "Eccentrica Gallumbits", "Wonko The Sane", and "the Great Green Arklesiezure", the name "Slartibartfast" actually doesn't sound all that much more odd.
  • In the Finnish radio show Leila ja Annukka, Annukka's full set of given names is Annukka Hella Aina Ilona. In English this is the equivalent of her being named Annukka Stove Always As Joy. The components are all real names.

Tabletop Games

  • This thread is full of examples. Unfortunately, the mage Koakmasheen wasn't a potions specialist.
    • It's the players who do it on purpose that you need to watch out for...
  • Actually discussed in the GURPS supplement GURPS Mixed Doubles, filled with sample Superhero characters. One mentioned, Streaker, went into retirement in part because his crimefighting pseudonym (originally from the streaky afterimages from his Super Speed) was adopted as a term for running through a public place naked.
  • Lord Toede, an obese toad-faced hobgoblin, is a prominent low-grade villain from the Dragonlance D&D setting.
  • Hostler from The Waterside Hotel from Temple of Elemental Evil adventure - Dick Rentsch.
  • In Gary Gygax 'Necropolis' - a lot of adventurers came to Ar-Tuat.
    • It is pronounced 'too-at'. It is still Double Entendre, as Gygax's first language was English.
  • Candy Land has Princess Lolly (as in "lollypop"), who is a little girl. The makers of the game probably never would have guessed that a few decades later, the word "loli" would refer to something else entirely...
  • There's a guy in Warhammer 40,000 with the name and nickname of "Fingers" Vagin.
  • Legend of the Five Rings: While, at least, a few developers knew actual Japanese to a meaningful degree, most names came up as random, non-sensical mash of Japanese syllables. This means that you get characters with delightful names such as "Kuso" (turd) or "Baka" (stupid). Also, there was a respectable samurai woman named "O-ushi", which can mean "honorable cow". You Fight Like a Cow, indeed.
  • Pretty much every person, place, thing or monster in Spawn of Fashan. Its author seems to have been the ultimate Giver of Lame, Bad and just plain stupid names.


  • In 13, there is a character named "Archie Walker". Archie Walker is not an unfortunate name to have in and of itself. If it belongs to a boy on crutches on the other hand...
  • In The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams, Alvaro's last name is Mangiacavallo. Its Italian meaning, "Eat-a-Horse," cements his status as clown.

"Maybe two thousand and seventy years ago one of my grandfathers got so hungry that he ate up a horse. That ain't my fault."

  • In Die Fledermaus, Eistenstein's incompetent defense attorney is named Blind (which means the same thing in German and English).
  • From HMS Pinafore: "You can't expect a chap with such a name as Dick Deadeye to be a popular character-- now can you?"

Video Games

  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City has Lance Vance, which he got mocked for in high school. Tommy Vercetti says it all: "Lance Vance. Poor bastard."
  • Mass Effect 2 has Jack, also known as "Subject Zero," as one of your companions. She is revealed to be a woman, although in very rare cases it can be used as a female given name.
    • The game also includes the Quarian starship Qwib Qwib. Its captain is rather defensive when questioned on the subject.
      • He also mentions that name isn't as noble as the Defrenz or Iktomi. Quarian names are (given name)'(family name) vas (ship being served on) nar (ship born on).
  • One of the mock commercials in You Don't Know Jack: Fifth Dementia is for "The Society for People With Unfortunate Names", including such members as Eileen Dover and her husband Ben.
  • Super Robot Wars 4Koma comics often make fun of how Aya Kobayashi shares a last name with Zeta Gundam's Katz Kobayashi. Aya does NOT take that treatment well.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, there is an aging security guard who just can't shut up. Her name is Wendy Oldbag.
    • Also Maggey Byrde who is fittingly named for a Magpie due to her horribly bad luck. When Byrde was six months old, she fell off the ninth floor of an apartment building. Since then, she has experienced a myriad of disasters such as getting hit by various vehicles, getting sick from all sorts of foods and failing almost every test she ever took. And has never once won or even tied at a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. She became known as the "Goddess of Misfortune" as she grew up, and at college, people called her "Lady Luckless". Her current aspiration is to simply "Be an Unlucky Person rather then a Goddess." Like Ms. Oldbag, she's a recurring charcter.
    • Another recurring character with this trope is Larry Butz. There's also a saying with that:"When it smells, it's usually the Butz".
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has "Bush Rescue". Perfectly accurate for the Australian Outback, but a poor choice nonetheless.
  • Poor Guybrush Threepwood is the running joke of the Monkey Island series.
    • A man in the first game who mocks his name is called Mancomb Seepgood.
    • This one has a strange backstory, though—his original name was "Guy", and the bizarre image editor they used gave him the extension ".brush." After a bit of thinking, they decided to just keep calling him that, but they put out a call for a last name, and someone suggested "Threepwood". Apparently it's a reference to something.
    • Also from Monkey Island is Haggis McMutton from the third game:

Haggis: "Well, Haggis is only my nickname. My true name is 'Heart Lungs And Liver Boiled In The Stomach Of The Animal McMutton'."
Guybrush: "Oh, so your parents were expecting a girl."
Haggis: "Aye."

  • EarthBound gives us Poo and Porky. Porky would become Pokey in the translation. Which name is worse is up to you to decide.
    • EarthBound also gives us Paula Polestar... yeah.
  • Some of the characters from the Star FOX series: First names of Fox, Wolf, Panther and Pigma (who names their kid that?) and last names of Toad, Hare, and Pepper.

In a Super Smash Bros. Brawl conversation:
Solid Snake Colonel, there's a guy in here who looks like a wolf...
Colonel Roy Campbell: You mean the fighter named Wolf.
Solid Snake: "Wolf." Real imaginative name.

  • An old DOS game (which had cutscenes animated by the same studio that made some CD-i games featured a eponymous villain named I.M. Meen.
  • Sniggerbobble, a character from a few series of Mario World hacks as seen in that video. Apart from setting off a few word censors, the name itself is just... incredibly difficult to take seriously. Especially anything else named after it, which added said name in front of a normal word.
  • EVE Online has the Thukker Tribe. Yes. Really. Some of the system names aren't much better, and even the random alphanumeric 0.0 system names have a few bulkhead bangers.
  • In Dynasty Warriors, one of the characters' name is Cao Pi, probably after the historical figure.
    • The actual pronunciation is "Tsao Pee", like the Chinese chicken, but the vocal director for Dynasty Warriors refused to do his research until the Warriors Orochi series premiered in America - six games into the American releases of the franchise for the Chinese warriors.[4] Luckily, the Samurai Warriors crew were comparably unscathed.
  • In the Phantasy Star series, the name of the Big Bad Dark Force/Darkfalz has been interpreted as Dark Phallus. It doesn't help that, in the fourth game, there's a normal enemy that looks like his sprite in the first game and is called Prophallus.
  • In Sims 2, there is a headmaster called Nawwaf Leelaporn.
    • There's also been reference to the Landgraab/Landgrabb family in nearly every incarnation of the Sims. It's an unfortunate name that also fits, because the Landgraabs are a morally ambiguous rich family. They're a corporate dynasty in the Sims 1 and 2, and greedy aristocrats in The Sims Medieval.
  • One of the antagonists of Dragon Quest IV is named Balzack.
  • In Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, The eponymous character's best friend is named Boo Hooly.
  • Sodom, from Final Fight and Street Fighter. Being named after a city that was destroyed by the wrath of God and eventually gave its name to countless acts of sexual perversion, including homosexuality and even bestiality? Hilarious.
  • In Recettear, Tear points out that the eponymous store's name looks a lot like "racketeer".
  • Aloser Danya in Tactics Ogre. One gets the feeling her parents utterly HATED her. What makes it hilarious is she's one of the deadliest units in the game, being an archer with massive DEX capable of assassinating even fully armored units sniper-style. Just ask Bishop Branta when you see him.
  • Strangelove, for her love of The Boss in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, gives an ironically crude codename for the Mammal Pod: The BS-Imago. Although the initials are supposed to be short for The Boss, the initials also resemble a rather crude word (IE: "Bullshit")
    • Also, Naked Snake's codename was often misinterpreted severely in the sequels to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The "Naked" part of Snake's name was supposed to be a reference to the fact that he does not have any weapons or really anything aside from the clothes on his back. However, the characters think that it stemmed from its most literal meaning (meaning that he was actually given the codename because he wasn't wearing any clothes).
    • Then there's Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov. While "Raidenovitch" may be an unlikely, but possible, Russian patroynmic (where it's the father's name + ovitch for a son) in Japanese Raidenovitch sounds like "Raiden no bitch", or "Thunderbolt's bitch" which ties into his relationship with the local Psycho Electro. In this case it was deliberate, since Raikov is a Take That to Raiden, the protagonist of the previous game.
    • Don't think too hard about "Solid Snake", "Liquid Snake" and "Liquid Ocelot".
  • Dwarf Fortress with its Luke Nounverber style random name generator once apparently called a dwarf Dik Inchslapped. That is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Noob Saibot of Mortal Kombat is an interesting case. His name is the backwards version of the series' co-creators' names, Boon and Tobias. But it's often shortened to Noob, and given the fact that his early appearances has some rather cheap special movies, it fit. The devs seem to realize the joke, giving him a "Troll Hammer" as a weapon in Mortal Kombat Armageddon.
    • In Mortal Kombat 9, his match-beginning quote is "Fear me!" Oh wait, sorry, "ph33r m3!"
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, Nobodies' names are an anagram of their former self's name, with an x. Xemnas is one such Nobody. His name, unfortunately, also anagrams to "Mansex".
    • That's far from the only example. There's also Xigbar, which becomes Bigrax, Lexaeus, who becomes E-Sexual, and the mother of all unfortunate names, Xehanort. His name spells, if you remove the X, Rent-a-ho. Or if you leave it there, Rent-xa-ho (Rents-a-ho).
  • Geese...
  • Wario Master of Disguise has possibly the worst example of this ever, with a boss called the "Barfatronic Lavachomper".
  • If his statements are to be believed, the Soldier in Team Fortress 2 is really named Jane Doe. Mister Jane Doe.
  • Night Trap has this with the group called SCAT. You should look in a dictionary to find out why the name qualifies for this trope.
  • Arguably, the full name of N from Pokémon Black and White. Natural Harmonia Gropius.
  • In Dark Souls, the Lethal Lava Land the Demon Ruins has the fiery Ceaseless Discharge.
  • Abobo in Double Dragon, whose name also happens to be slang for abortion.
  • In Runescape, trolls are names after the first thing they eat. One of the trolls you meet is named "Dad".
  • The Sonic'' series has a six-year-old rabbit called 'Cream'. It's actually Theme Naming with her mother, Vanilla (vanilla cream) and her pet Chao, Cheese (cream cheese), but this doesn't change the fact that the full statement of her name is Cream the Rabbit.
  • The House of the Dead spinoff game Zombie Revenge has a main character named Stick Brightling. It's like his parents were ashamed of their last name and just figured they would completely humiliate their son.
  • The game series Myst was frequently target of jokes in germany, because Myst is spoken like the german word "Mist", which means crap.
  • In the non-canon Berserk game Sword of the Berserk: Guts' rage, the antagonist is named Balzac.[5]
  • In EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus, the hermit crab senator is named Superfluous.
  • In Starship Troopers Terran Ascendancy, the game randomly generates the names of your troops. This can lead to such names as "Private Jack Mehoffen".
  • The eponymous villain from I.M. Meen may have the lamest Punny Name ever. No wonder he's so, ahem, meen.
  • The random Hersir name generator in Age of Mythology gives us such gems as Thorvald Eggscreamer, Gisli Unsightlywisher, and Bersi Cheesedrowner.
  • In Battletoads, the three heroes are named Rash, Pimple, and Zit. Three anthropomorphic toads named after skin conditions. Of course, that was kind of the idea.
  • The Lies of P is a Darker and Edgier reimagining of Pinocchio, "Darker and Edgier", meaning "inspired by Dark Souls"; this ain't no Disney game. However, the mood is ruined when you discover that one of Pinocchio's skill trees is his... P-Organ. Yeah. It get worse when you read the description of some devices like the Final Resort, a weapon that "releases all of the P-Organ's energy at once". Try to find one playthrough on YouTube where the narrator can go through the whole game without cracking up, it's not easy.

Web Comics

  • Mike's son in Something*Positive: "Shazam Wil Wheaton Dowden". According to Mike, "the hyphen is the source of his powers". Mike and the child's mother Tamara had problems with the name—originally it was going to be "Shazam Joss Whedon Dowden", but Tamara changed it without telling Mike. Mike, who hates Wil Wheaton, was horrified; "I mean, Christ, why not just name my kid 'Hitler-Stalin Pony Raper Dowden'?"
    • The Santa look-alike whom Jason spent some time visiting in the intensive care ward is actually named "Shirley Koklik". In Jason's words: "I'd pity kill you, but if that name's any indication of how your life has been I want you to be around to show me how much worse it can be."
    • Davan himself has some problems with his name.
    • PeeJee's full name is Penelope-Jennifer Shou.

"Dad, nobody calls me Penny-Jenny anymore, I go by PeeJee."
"Bah! Why would I name you Penelope-Jennifer if I wasn't going to call you my little Penny-Jenny?"
"Why would you name me Penny-Jenny and then act shocked that I'm prone to violent outbursts?"

  • During the Jack arc "Frigid McThunderbones", a B-movie parody storyline, we get this from the hot female detective:

"Good evening, Sergeant. I'm Detective Smallbush."
"Aidsyphilis Smallbush ... It's Greek."
"... Not nice..."

    • And a couple of strips later:

"Boss! Don Donald Donaldson!"
"That's kind of redundant. Just call me Don."
"Don 'Don' Donaldson?"
"Much better!"

  • Xkcd's Bobby Tables's real name Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;- - has been known to cause problems with his school's databases.
  • The eponymous hero of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name. His full name is Hanna Falk Cross. Hanna clearly isn't a boy's name, and he can't use his middle name because it's conspicuously close to the "f" word.
  • A Suicide for Hire client was named "Jeremy Laramie". No, his reasons for seeking death were not connected to his name, sadly. The author's note read "Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental, but my apologies to anyone named 'Jeremy Laramie'; I'm sorry your parents hate you." Prior to that, there was the reindeer client known by the boys as "Codename Rudolph", whose name actually did turn out to be "Rudy". A potential hazard of being a Talking Animal, one assumes.
  • The "Fiery Loins" chapter of Space Marines from Turn Signals on a Land Raider.
  • Although almost every character in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob has a Punny Name of some sort, only Dean Martin (a college dean named Martin) seems aware enough of it to be self-conscious about it. Any joke about him and Jerry Lewis will hit his Berserk Button.
  • Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy features Cheesecake Boeing 747 St Cherrywell. The middle name is explained by the fact that her parents are cargo cultists. As for the first name, her mother's name is Pretzel, so presumably it's a family tradition.
  • Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes has—of course—goblin characters. Many - but not all - of these characters are named by the fortune-teller. One character goes by Hava. His full name? Piss-Off-I-Hava-Headache. There is also Dies-Horribly, Fumbles, and mention is made of one goblin (of the same clan as Hava) who is named Stop-The-Ceremony-I-Swallowed-A-Bug
  • Crusader Hussein Crusader named for his Great Uncle Saddam.
  • In Exploitation Now, the character Bimbo's real is Bimbo. To make things worse, she's a sometimes porn actress, and her last name is Moneymaker. Her first name was the result of strong drugs (it was a very difficult labour), and a mother who spoke very little English.
  • General Protection Fault Software. Lampshaded by Nick during his job interview in the third strip.

Nick: Your company's name is GPF Software, but isn't "GPF" an abbreviation for "General Protection Fault," the most dreaded of Microsoft Windows error messages, from which you can only recover by a complete system shutdown?
Dwayne: Um... I'm not all that creative...
Nick: I personally thought it was a brilliant bit of computer geek humor, sir...

    • Not to mention the fact that their marketing director, Trudy Trueheart, was born Moonbeam Gertrude Glowerhausen (Hippie parents).
    • And one of their staff members, Sharon, pointed out that you have to have a sense of humor when growing up in the 80s when your name is S. Murphy.
  • The Trenches: The main character's name is Isaac Cox. Say it aloud.
  • The Order of the Stick: Good thing the anagrammatical antitheses are Elan and Nale instead of Lean and Anel.
  • In Questionable Content, Marten's mother attempted to give him the middle name "Tiberius." But at least he's not Kirk.
  • Schlock Mercenary has bad cases of "politician or military types try their appendages at naming things" as almost-running gag.

Admiral Emm: Mako?
Kowalski: Code-name. Her given name was Mathilde, I'm known as Kowalski. First two letters of each.
Admiral Emm: I would have grabbed a couple more letters and gone with "Madkow".
Kowalski: That's why I pick my own code names.

Murtaugh: ...the prole factoryfice is taking fire, and is too bright to look at.
Elf: Wait, which orifice?
Murtaugh: I hope the person who named that building is inside it right now.

When U.N.S. scientists developed their much larger version of this weapon they called it the Discontiguous Particle Acceleration System, or DPAS. That weapon was hijacked and disabled, [...] the weapon, now sentient, decided on the name "LOTA."
This is fortunate, not because the weapon is in the independent hands of a rogue artificial intelligence, but because the name LOTA is far better than the inevitable alternative. The military's penchant for pronouncing acronyms would have led to the weapon being called "Deep-Ass."

    • The mind controlling Eina-Iafa at one point named itself more or less "Broken Wind". Well

Iafa: I had no way of knowing I'd meet a race of people for whom those words suggested gas-phase excrement.
Sorlie: If you'd meet us back then, you'd have found we were still working on ballistic excrement.

Web Original

  • In the Whateley Universe, there's a teenager at Whateley Academy named Harry Wolfe. He looks like a werewolf. His family is cursed, so the boys look like werewolves. Who the heck gives his kid a name like that under those circumstances?
    • His father, who has reddish fur, is named Red. There has been speculation that the horrible names are actually part of the curse.
  • Survival of the Fittest's answer to this trope is Adonis Zorba. Utter Narm.
    • Also, the 'famously monogomous' girl around Bayview Secondary School...Paige Single.
    • From Virtua we have the name Sycanus Appletin. Pretty self explanatory.
  • Homestar Runner. Two words: Integral article. Explaining the site to new people is difficult simply because rendering the characters' names is so confusing.
    • Bubs' full name is Bubs Concession Stand. Seriously.
  • The Cinema Snob says in his review of Ax 'Em that all you need to do to make your name sound less dignified is add "DJ" to the beginning. But when your Christian name is already "Doublecut Master Slice-em-up Dice-em-up", you don't have far to fall.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode Flaming Moes, when Moe's bar is actually popular. Bart makes a prank phone call for a "Hugh Jass" and to his surprise, there actually is a guy with the name of Hugh Jass.
    • Something very similar happened in the episode Donnie Fatso, where Moe Syszlak got a call requesting for a "Yuri Nater", and called out to the patrons asking for him, with predictable results. However, it wasn't a prank call, as the caller did actually intend to speak with a person by that name (The man in question was the caller's Russian business associate), and the person Moe was implied to have chewed out on for it was actually Fat Tony, the mafia leader.
    • The "Flaming Moe" was originally named the "Flaming Homer". That is, "flaming 'mo" vs. "flaming homo".
    • "Don't worry, there will be no one to make fun of your name anymore, Mr. Glasscock."
    • In another episode, Cletus reveals that he names his kids after what they think will happen to them when they grow up. Isn't that right, Stabbedinjail?
    • Don't forget Joey Joe-Joe Jr. Shabadoo, which at first appears to be a name Homer makes up on the spot for his hypothetical "friend." However, Moe's derisive reaction to the name leads a man to run sobbing out of the bar and Barney to call "Hey, Joey Joe-Joe!" after him.
    • All of the fake names Bart uses for prank-calling Moe's (such as "Al Caholic," "Jacques Strappe," "I.P. Freely," "Seymour Butz," "Homer Sexual," "Mike Rotch," "Amanda Hugginkiss," "Ivana Tinkle," and "Ollie Tabooger") qualify. The one time that Bart's crank calls to Moe's actually backfired on him was when there actually was a guy by the name of Hugh Jass present in the tavern.
    • "I will not mock Mrs. Dumbface."
    • In one episode in which Homer is banned from Moe's, a man who looks just like him enters the bar and is pretty confused by the reception:

"Homer? Who is this 'Homer'? My name is Guy Incognito."

  • "Little Orphan Millie" had a man named Gaylord Q. Tinkledink, who was looking for his nephew, Nerdletob Z. Pantybottom.
  • Shredder's real name Oroku Saki in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Saki is actually a girls name and means flower, no wonder he prefers to call himself Shredder.
  • The Venture Brothers "Phantom Limb" "Dr. Girlfriend" "White Noise" "Major Tom" and "The Action man" are old friends of Dr.Jonas Venture. One episode opens with a communication between The Action Man and Major Tom that copied lyrics from a classic David Bowie tune.
    • Most VB examples would be Fail O'Suckyname, because they're just bad aliases. Phantom Limb's real name and what's possibly Dr. Girlfriend's real first name have been revealed. However, an albino having the last name of "White" is unfortunate.
    • Dr. Girlfriend eventually became Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. The Monarch once referred to her as Dr. My Wife.
  • Looney Tunes used to play with this, the initials I.M. before a name suggesting their profession.
    • So did Cartoon Network with I. M. Weasel and I. R. Babboon
    • Also from Looney Tunes: Merlin the Magic Mouse's sidekick was never destined to be a starring character because he was stuck with the name Second Banana.
  • Woody Woodpecker once had a character named Ivan Awfulitch.
    • Hell, Woody Woodpecker.
  • The Beavis and Butthead episode "Prank Call" has Harry Sachz, who the duo incessantly harass with prank phone-calls for a month before he goes ballistic.
  • The page image comes from an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where SpongeBob and Squidward were competing to name all the customers that come to the Krusty Krab. The "tiebreaker" (since Krabs didn't keep count) is a man who responds to Squidward's questions saying "what's it to ya!?" Turns out it was his real name.
    • Smittywerben Jeggar Manjensen can either be this or Awesome McCoolname. He was number one!
  • Played with in an episode of Family Guy: Peter tries to drum up support for a new pro-smoking bill. He then encounters (real-life) House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and laughs hysterically at his name, refuses to believe it is his real name and then mocks him asking if his wife is called "Vagina Coastguard".
  • "Hello, my name is Larry Littlejunk." The names go downhill from there.
  • Pretty much a lot of Hanna-Barbera's cartoon animal sidekicks, particularly those whose names are one syllable said twice. The most notable instance of this trope being used there would have to be Touche Turtle's sidekick; you'd have to be a really cruel parent to name your kid Dum-dum.
  • Gorillaz singer 2D is actually named Stuart Pot, and became known as Stu-Pot prior to the accidents which gave him his "2 Dents". It could be worse; his father had the family surname legally changed from "Tusspot" after a lifetime of teasing.
  • South Park
    • Parodied with teacher Ms. Choksondik ("chokes-on-dick"). While the kids insult her endlessly, they never notice her name, though they do sometimes modify it insultingly (calling her "Ms. Chokes-on-rocks" or "Ms. Makes-me-sick"). Guess how she dies.
    • Butters' real name, fitting for his Woobie status, is Leopold Stotch.
  • There are Transformers called Shothole, Slag, Skids, Huffer, Windbreaker, Slapper, Erector and Discharge, among others.
  • Khaka Peu Peu from Phineas and Ferb.
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, when you think of a certain sparkly vampire.
    • Also, Diamond Tiara's father, who insists that everyone call him Rich. That's because the first half of his name is "Filthy". Luckily he has all those bags of money to make him feel better about, well, being named Filthy.
      • It could be worse. His grandfather's first name was Stinking.
    • And now that it's canon, one can only assume that "Derpy" doesn't have the same connotations in Equestria that it does on Earth.
  • Dethklok's therapist is named Dr. Twinkletits. In a case of pronunciation fun, his name is pronounced "Twink-eh-let-tis."
  • Admiral Bitchface. Hey, it's german.
  • In a Robot Chicken skit where Gargamel turns himself into a Smurf, when asked for his name he nervously ends up with Gargel Smurf, which attracts the attention of Vanity Smurf.
  • Rick and Morty.
    • Principal Gene Vagina. Yes, he knows he was dealt a bad hand there and is very insecure about it.
    • Also, Mr. Poopybutthole. Summer can barely even say the poor guy's name when calling an ambulance for him after he's shot! Fortunately, he survives.
      • Season 7 reveals that his first name is "Wayne", which Rick seems to think is just as funny.
    • In fact, aliens with silly names is sort of a Running Gag on this show, like Bird Person, Shleemypants, and so on. There are even entire alien races with dumb names, like the Gromflomites, Floovians, and Squanchies.
  • One poor kid from Sealab 2021 had the name "Fatass McBlobicus", which Quinn initially assumed was just a teasing nickname.
  • Having the name "Upton" isn't exactly bad, unless you're in the Men in Back; Jay quickly figures out that this is Agent U's real name, because "You don't look like an 'Ursula'." Not to mention the Running Gag where U's codename and the word "you" get mixed up.
  • From Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends; when it at first seems like Cheese is a second Friend that Mac has imagined, it seems this Trope applies. Mac can already predict the "Mac and Cheese" jokes everyone is going to mock him with. Subverted, however, as it is revealed at the end that Cheese is actually his neighbor Louise's Friend - he tends to get lost a lot.
  • Bob Belcher, the protagonist of Bob's Burgers; not a good name to have when you're running a hamburger joint.
  • Mucha Lucha had a Villain of the Week named Keelspbellsvin. Seems okay when you consider that he's a space alien, until you discover that even he has trouble spelling and pronouncing it.
  • Overlapping with Double Entendre in Stunt Dawgs with the Big Bad, Richard Fungus. For obvious reasons, he does not like being called "Dick".
  • In the DC Super Hero Girls episode “Accept No Substitute”, Babs’ father is subbing in her class, and is the victim of a lot of practical jokes, including a someone who writes silly names on the role sheet, like “Anita Poop” and “Harry Pits”, which is all humiliating for Babs. Eventually, he calls out “Ira Lee Stinkman” and Babs can’t hold it in, calling him out for falling for thinking such a stupid name is real. Unfortunately, not only is the name real, it’s poor Ira’s first day in class, and Babs outburst causes her to run from the class sobbing.

Real Life (People)

  • Thomas Crapper, anyone? To be fair, his name didn't have any unfortunate connotations before he was associated with the flushing toilet.
  • Isis is the name of an Egyptian goddess, as well as the acronym for a notorious terrorist organization (also known as ISIL). It's something people named "Isis" can't exactly help, but it's still done serious damage to the name's popularity.
  • The Sergeant who provided coverage of the 2011 Riots in London was called Mr. Ramsbottom.
  • There are lots of names in other languages that are funny in English. To name some: the Dutch names Joke and Freek, or the Japanese last name Aso (which is in Dutch a word used to describe a rude or antisocial person).
  • Until the departure of Gordon Brown in 2010, the British government included Alistair Darling, Ed Balls and Stephen Ladyman. Balls remains Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Jeremy Clarkson: Our transport department is now being run by Darling and Ladyman.

    • And since the incredibly close general election of May 2010, in which no party won a majority and Ed and his wife Yvette were both re-elected, Britain has a hung Parliament with a pair of Balls.
      • The Late Labour leader Michael Foot had an elder brother who was also an MP. His name? Sir Dingle Foot. No, seriously.
    • Alan Johnson was Balls' predecessor as Shadow Chancellor. Every newspaper, on the day of the switch, ran with the same "Johnson out, Balls in" joke.
    • The current government now contains Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary. Cue people calling him the "Hulture Secretary", and even people on television make the unfortunate slip of the tongue.
  • Cree Summer Francks? Not a terrible name for a girl. However, naming her brother Rainbow Sun Francks definitely falls into Unfortunate Names territory for their parents.
  • A Viking king from the early eleventh century is Knut the Great. Or, in many history books, Cnut the Great. Cue the double take.
    • Also King Harald Bluetooth.
      • Actually, Knut is pronounced as "Knoot", and Harald Bluetooth's name has only been unfortunate since 1994. The actual Danish names are Knud den Store and Harald Blåtand which can not be interpreted weirdly in Danish. The names are really only unfortunate in English.
      • Not to mention that the bluetooth standard was named after the king.
      • And that the "Bluetooth" was his nickname (which were often unflattering), not a name. These nicknames were most commonly used by chroniclers to differentiate people sharing the same name (the weren't using numbering).
  • A Cherokee man, whose last name was "Pickup", named his son "Chevy Ford". His son had a very hard life and is now in prison. What a dick.
  • Dudley Manlove, of Plan 9 fame.
  • Nicolas Cage named his son after Superman.
    • Sadly, not Clark—Kal-El Cage. *facepalm*
      • Not only that, Cage spent years mispronouncing it Ka-Lel. Apparently the placement of the hyphen didn't clue him in.
    • Nicolas Cage is actually a member of the Coppola family. He chose this name for himself after Luke Cage, Marvel Comics' Power Man. Ironically, Luke Cage wasn't his real name either; he changed it from Carl Lucas after he got out of prison by smashing through the wall.
  • Several cases where parents have named their kid ESPN. After the cable network.
    • Wait, did we say "several?" Don't know what came over us, we meant to say thousands.
    • A more muted example: Many parents name their children after someone famous. Many famous athletes have very silly names. Thus there are thousands of kids running around named Shaquille and Kobe who don't have the consolation of being internationally beloved superstars and millionaires.
  • The Chinese warlord Cao Cao's personal name (the second Cao) is in modern Chinese one of the many characters for "fuck", and is part of the infamous "grass mud horse" meme.
    • And his son's name was Cao Pi... (Granted, it's not pronounced 'cow pie,' but still.)
  • A judge intervened, removed custody from her parents, and allowed a nine-year-old girl an early name change, because her parents named her "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii".
  • Then there's the name of baseball player Randy Johnson, whose name could be literally taken as "Horny Penis". The fact that his nickname is "The Big Unit" does not help.
    • No relation to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
    • He's got nothing on Chubby Cox, though, whose name can be taken as nothing but "engorged penises."
      • Overweight Roosters?
  • There is a phenomenon quoted by New Scientist of Nominative Determinism—they list examples of people called De Ath becoming Undertakers, that kind of thing.
    • Which is hilarious, because the surname "De Ath" started out as "Death". It came not from Normandy or Belgium (as the rather silly folk etymology claims) but from the medieval mystery plays, where characters like Death, the Virgin, the Lord, etc. were played every year, and each role was passed down from father to son through the generations. Mind you, the ridiculous folk etymology started because some prudish Victorians were terrified that having the name "Death" meant that their ancestors were morticians, forgetting that morticians didn't exist before Victorian times.
    • The chief of Brokenhead First Nation in Manitoba is named... Debbie Chief. There's also an ornithologist named Bird.
  • Smith Wigglesworth. Sounds like a bit-character from Harry Potter, but he was actually the guy who founded the Pentecostal church.
  • There are people out there with the surname Bastard, or some variation thereof. Some of them are in the army, and attain the rank of Major.
  • There is also a psychological aspect in which children are named for the aspirations they want their child to live up to:
    • Cristal... you know? Like the Champagne?
    • Children named Mercedes, Miata, Porsche or Portia.
      • "She called her daughter A-Lexus" - Kanye West
      • The case of Mercedes is somewhat special, as the car was originally named after a girl.
      • Mercedes was a relatively common first name for girls, especially among Catholics, before the auto maker became well-known.
      • Portia is (or was) a girls name as well. A major character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was Portia.
      • Better yet, Mercedes Benz.
    • This happens all the time in America. "Oh Faith, Faith? Have you seen your sister Hope?"
      • Back in 18th century America, it could be even worse, with actual, documented families having girls with names like "Submit" and "Silence".
  • David Letterman had a Top Ten List about funny names, and the people there showed their driver's licenses to prove them. Names like Theodore Bear, Richard Hurtz, Richard Head, Harold Dong, and Justa Duck.
  • Texas art collector and daughter of the governor, Ima Hogg. She said that her grandfather tried to stop the christening, but he arrived too late.
    • The name is a bit ironic too since she was actually rather pretty.
  • There are baseball players named Milton Bradley (also the name of a board game company) and Coco Crisp (sounds a hell of a lot like a cereal).
    • Coco Crisp's real first name is Covelli.
    • There's also a pitcher named Grant Balfour. (For those of you unfamiliar with baseball, "ball four" is not a good thing for a pitcher to be associated with.)
      • Although note that it's pronounced "Baal-Four", as in the first syllable of ballet, not "Ball-Four." Still an easy target for road fans' jeering though.
    • No mention of Rusty Kuntz?
    • A pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds is named David DeWitt Bailey, but got tagged with the nickname "Homer" as a kid, and it stuck through his baseball career. Pitchers usually don't want to be associated with the word "homer"...and what makes it worse is he plays half of his games at a stadium that's known as That One Level for pitchers because it's a small park where balls tend to carry in summer, leading to - you guessed it - a lot of home runs, or "homers."
  • Filmmaker Kevin Smith named his daughter Harley Quinn Smith. Yes, after that Harley Quinn.
  • At least it's not as bad as the name of Jason Lee's son: Pilot Inspektor .
  • There was a cartoon in the National Lampoon about a guy whose last name was Kismias (I may be wrong about the spelling, but either way the pronunciation is what you'd expect). He kept bungling social situations, getting in trouble with the cops, etc., but he got his revenge by marrying and begetting a lot of little Kismiases.
  • After Alex Haley's Roots came out, there were many children named Kunta Kinte. Kunta Kinte is a real name in Africa, but it was not one that was in common use in the USA until then. It is not in common usage in the USA now, so it is a tweaked example.
  • And then there's Dick Van Dyke...
    • Of course, Van Dijk and its somewhat less common and older spelling variant Van Dyk are very normal Dutch last names.
    • Similarly, Alan Tudyk. Heh. Tudyk.
  • And (now-retired) NASCAR driver, Dick Trickle (who was more known for being Keith Olbermann's go-to NASCAR quip than his win/loss record).
    • He was the inspiration for the name of the NASCAR driver played by Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder: Cole Trickle.
  • And there's the Nutt brothers of college sports: Ole Miss head football coach Houston, and his younger brother, Arkansas St. A.D. and basketball coach, Dickey. (Yes, "Dickey Nutt".)
  • Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, but at least he doesn't live in Great Britain.
  • Michael Hunt is another one along similar lines to Richard Head. https://web.archive.org/web/20120311042104/http://www.yournotme.com/ tells us that both are more common than you'd expect.
  • Yahoo Answers: What's the most unfortunate name you ever heard?
  • Stephen Bond has written about the social implications of his surname.
    • Try being the ornithologist who James Bond was named after.
      • The name of the photographer that took pictures during the 1947 Roswell Incident was named James Bond Johnson. He preferred to be called J. Bond Johnson though, and Ian Fleming's James Bond wasn't created until 1952.
      • Ross Perot's choice for Vice President in 1992 was named James Bond Stockdale. Best known for forgetting where he was during the middle of a debate.
  • Batman bin Suparman would have been the coolest superhero in the history of comics... if not for the fact that he exists in Real Life.
    • "There is also a regional airport near Batman." Not only this, but the city of Melbourne was going to be called Batmania... because it was founded by John Batman.
      • In one JLA adventure set in Turkey, this was naturally played for comedy. Batman wanted to know where Ilibis was hiding, but the peon would only say "Batman!"
  • There is a singer named Crystal Waters.
  • ... And the Lear family (of LearJet fame) named one of their daughters Crystal Shanda.
  • A speaker at an Asian conference congratulated Western delegates for pronouncing his name Lee Bum Suk correctly, and not making it Lee Boom Sook (according to a newspaper clipping reprinted in Fortean Times).
  • Freakonomics devotes a chapter to the reasons names are chosen, and the effects their bearers' lives, including Winner Lane, remarkable only for his criminal record, and his brother Loser, a commended police officer.
    • Jamaican Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt is considered one of if not the fastest man alive.
  • Celebrities seem to consider it a prestige thing to give their children Unfortunate Names. To quote Seanbaby: "Most times, you can't trust famous people near a birth certificate."
    • Gwen Stefani has two sons—Kingston and Zuma Nesta Rock.
    • Bruce Willis has three daughters—Rumer Glenn, Scout LaRue, and Tallulah Belle.
      • Talluah Belle isn't that bad—a bit old-timey and Southern, but they're real names. Scout LaRue is a bit odd, but there is precedent for a girl having the earned nickname Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird can't be the first time it happened). Rumer Glenn, though...WTF?
      • Rumer is named after children's author, Rumer Godden.
    • Dweezil and Moon Unit are the children of Frank Zappa, though Dweezil was a nickname the kid picked himself.
      • Frank actually wanted to name the kid Dweezil but they wouldn't let him.
        • Moon Unit One is less of an example than it seems. Her name is Moon; "unit one" is a descriptor, referring to her being the first child.
    • Sylvester Stallone's children are Sage Moonblood and Seargeoh. His daughters are Sophia Rose, Sistine Rose and Scarlet Rose.
      • Seargeoh is less unfortunate than it appears (unless written). It is pronounces "Sergio". Pretty fitting, given his father's Italian origin.
    • Cher's son is Elijah Blue.
      • Her other son's name is Chaz.
        • Though in all fairness he chose that name himself. "Chastity", his pre-op birth name, isn't exactly a common name.
    • The Phoenix family has River and Rainbow.
      • And Leaf. Though he now goes by Joaquin.
      • Their younger sisters are named Liberty and Rain.
    • Penn Jillette defended naming his son Zoltan as follows: "It's a proper Hungarian name, and my wife's maiden name. It's also the name of Dracula's dog."
      • He doesn't have such a good excuse for naming his daughter (Zoltan's older sister) "Moxie CrimeFighter", however.
    • The lead singer of Korn, Jonathan Davis, has named two of his sons Pirate and Zeppelin.
    • Football player Magnus Hedman named his first son Lancelot, which is fairly okay. However he named his second son Tristan From Avalon. Especially stupid since in the Arthurian legends, Tristan wasn't even from Avalon...
    • Actress Kimberly Elise apparently named her children AjaBleu and Butterfly.
    • "Destiny Hope Cyrus", anyone? (At least until 2008.)
    • Beyonce and Jay Z named their daughter Blue Ivy.
    • From Brazil, Marcelo D2, a guy who clearly overcomes Snoop Dogg regarding... recreational herbs (for starters, his former band was called Planet Hemp and 90% of their songs defended legalizing and/or smoking), named his daughter Maria Joana. And he tried to deny saying he just liked the name!
    • Longer lists on these pages.
  • In an unfortunate coincidence, Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps' father is named Fred Phelps, linking him to the controversial leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
    • That's way too common a name to hold it against the guy.
  • It's probably considered unfortunate now to be named Michael Jackson. In the UK, people with that name include a general and a TV executive.
    • A black man by that name, though unrelated to the singer, ran for office in Louisiana's 6th Congressional district in 2008. Nearly every time the election was mentioned on the Swing State Project blog, references were made to Michael Jackson (the singer) songs. The best was "This is Bad; he needs to Beat It."
    • Speaking of which, MJ's children are named Prince Michael, Paris Michael (girl), and Prince Michael II (a.k.a. "Blanket" or the-one-who-was-dangled-from-a-balcony). He ran out of ideas awfully fast. Mother Debbie Rowe says he wanted to name the girl "Princess", but she convinced him otherwise.
    • Even better, "Blame It On The Boogie", was originally written and recorded by a German-born Englishman—Michael Jackson. And released at the same time as the more well-known cover
    • Michael Jackson was also the name of one of the most famous beer and whisky critics in the world.
  • Currently, a Scientologist named "Feline Butcher" is being prosecuted in Los Angeles for 18 counts of practicing medicine without a license. Kind of interesting considering that Scientology allegedly has a history of injuring and/or killing the pets of its critics to scare them into silence.
  • Speaking of Italy, the current leader of one of the national police forces is called Antonio Manganelli. Manganelli means "truncheons" in Italian.
  • Sarah Palin's children Track Enfield, Bristol, Willow, Piper Indy Grace, and Trig Paxson Van. She has recently announced the intention to name a hypothetical sixth child Zamboni. She apparently names her children after where they were conceived. When she was still just Governor of Alaska she informed a family friend of this at a gathering.[6] Trig also is a really unfortunate name when you consider that he has Down syndrome, known in the medical community as trisomy G. One has to wonder if Palin actually knew this or not beforehand..
    • Her daughter Bristol named her son Tripp, making it look like a family naming tradition in the works.
  • Alice Cooper named his daughters Calico and Sonora Rose. His son was luckier: his name is Dashiell.
    • Sonora is a Mexican state, and a large portion of the Sonora Desert is in Arizona, where Alice lives. Sonora Rose is just a more specific, regional version of "desert rose".
  • Dick Butkus.
  • Who could forget eminent German-born actor Oscar Homolka?
  • Nothing says "I'm a Utah Mormon!" like naming your baby girl Vulva Mae. Really.
    • What about Blessing Ream?
  • A woman in South Carolina named Princess Killingsworth tried to kill her boyfriend by running him over with her car during an argument. Really [dead link].
  • There is at least one British resident called Slobodan Milosevic, who needless to say was on the receiving end of quite a few prank calls during the Balkan wars.
  • British tenor Paul Potts, whose name unfortunately sounds somewhat like the nickname of a certain Cambodian dictator.
  • Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K.
  • Truth in Television: Apparently, Sean Connery was once pulled over by a policeman named James Bond.
    • Sean Connery himself is an example for French speakers, as connerie means "bullshit".
    • Of course, "connery" means "lies", i.e., bullshit, in English as well.
  • The British Chief of the Defence Staff is named Graham Eric Stirrup, but he goes by the nickname "Jock". That's right: Jock Stirrup. The Daily Show had a field day with this.
    • That's Sir Jock Stirrup thank you very much. As his name was typically displayed during occasional interviews.
  • Another one The Daily Show had fun with - Former New Hampshire congressman Dick Swett. Coupled with kudos to Obama for not doing an immediate Spit Take.
  • Mongolian names, for complicated cultural reasons, often translate as things like "Who's That?" or "Bad Dog." That Other Wiki says it has to do with misdirecting evil spirits.
  • Tim Allen was born Timothy Allen Dick; you think that's bad, pity his Uncle Richard. Not to mention his cousin Peter.
    • By his own account, he played that for laughs in a minor argument one time, telling his adversary something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'm a Dick! My father's a Dick, too! I come from a long line of Dicks!" The woman he was arguing with, who didn't know who he was, was shocked.
  • Academy Award-nominated actor Richard Dix, anyone?
  • Some girl was named "Shadynasty". No, it's not pronounced "shady-nasty". (It's "sha-dynasty".)
    • Likewise, the name LaDynasty is not unheard of in at least one rural area of southern Louisiana.
  • Late Rep. Tom Lantos had two sons-in-law named Timber Dick (now also deceased) and Dick Swett.
  • Richard "Dick" Armey, former US Representative from Texas and House Majority Leader.
  • Three highly unfortunate kids in New Jersey were named Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie. They made national news after their mother and father threw a fit over being refused a birthday cake for young Adolf. Here's the full story.
    • Strangely, Indian politician Adolf Lu Hitler Marak does not seem to suffer from the same problems.
      • Most likely because in India Adolf Hitler is just another historical figure from half a world away. You know, like Shiro Ishii for Europeans.
      • Not to mention Frankenstein Momin, Billy Kid Sangma, Britainwar Dan, Bombersingh Hynniewta, Laborious Manik Syiem, Tony Curtis Lyngdoh, Hilarius Pohchen, Boldless Nongrum, Clever Marak, so on and so forth.
  • A postman in Harrow, made briefly famous by Twitter, who embraced the jokes by adding his middle initial to his name badge: "Chris P. Bacon".
  • For those who have seen the Mae West film I'm No Angel, the name Beulah Grapes can remind them of the famous line "Beulah, peel me a grape," which is to this day sometimes used Just for Pun. She got her name before said movie was ever made, poor thing.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's name was Pelham Grenville. A popular rumor is that he refused knighthood for years to put off being known as Sir Pelham.
    • Also, his surname refers to what was, essentially, the medieval English version of Bigfoot. YMMV, though, on whether that's unfortunate or awesome.
  • Dick Sprang: Legendary Golden Age artist who designed the Riddler alongside Bob Kane and pretty much defined the art style for the Caped Crusader during the fifties (incidentally enough, he did not do the artwork for the infamous "Joker's Boner" story.)
  • New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen. And the man she ran against was named John Sununu.
    • Sha-HEEEN!
    • Incidentally, both names are Arabic: Sununu is Palestinian, while Jeanne Shaheen's husband (from whom she took the name) is Lebanese.
  • In The Nineties, Virginia Bottomley was a minister in John Major's Cabinet in the UK. This is probably the reason that Spitting Image decided to jokingly have her (rather than some other female minister) be Major's secret lover, as the idea that the dull-as-dull-comes Major was capable of something so interesting as an affair was considered hilarious at the time. Cut to 2002, and it turns out that Major did have an affair...with another junior minister, Edwina Currie.
  • Max Wanko worked on the sound department for quite a few Uwe Boll films. It's like some superhero name, and now the mental image of the Spiderman scene where he accidentally wrecks his room by shooting sticky strands of goo from his wrists will not leave your head.
  • In a thread for Unfortunate Names, Something Awful goons found the Social Security Death Index and went to town. They generally agreed that "Science Thompson" was one of the best names.
    • The name of a contestant on an early series of Big Brother—however, it was later revealed to be a nickname derived from what had been his best school subject and his real first name was the more ordinary Kieran.
  • Someone named Robert Burns called Car Talk. Click and Clack (the hosts) always refer to him as "Rrrrrrrrrroberrrrrrrrrt Burrrrrrrrrns," with an exaggerated Scots accent.
    • Another Car Talk ep had a caller named "Aroop Gupta". Not that odd, but Click and Clack thought it was just fun to say, and actually spent a good 30 seconds just saying "Aroop Gupta" again and again while poor Aroop sat on the line, patiently chuckling and waiting for them to shut up so he could get to his question.
  • Drew Peacock
  • For a catalogue of these names, see Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing, with real baby names among the likes of "Tegwin", "Timmy Tinkletop", "Scatman" (Dead Guy, Junior Gone Horribly Wrong), "Bubba", and "Alexander Scott Smith", which doesn't sound bad on its own, but...
  • Tom Raper is an RV salesman in southeastern Indiana. It's hilarious hearing radio ads saying "Save today, Tom Raper's way!"
    • There's a politician in the area with the last name of Crooks. Leading to many a joke.
  • Peter Fanning isn't so bad—but then he named his daughter Amy Iona.
  • Finnish Sissi commandos. They're not what you think.
  • Some actor on Saved by the Bell is named Dick King.
  • Swimmer Misty Hymen.
  • Hyman George Rickover was just as unlucky as Misty. Possibly growing up with a name like that is what led to him becoming a four-star admiral in the United States Navy and the "Father of the Nuclear Navy".
  • In New York State in the 1940's and 50's, there was a man. A man who was appointed Head of Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital. This was, however, not just any man. This man was Dr. Hyman Pleasure.
  • Harry Baals, former Mayor of Fort Wayne, IN. And yes, it is pronounced the way you are hoping.
    • He was well liked enough to get a road named after him after he died so the name will live on. Decades later the city had a vote to decide the name a new government building. Planners thought it would be a good idea to put the vote online so it would be easy for people to vote. Harry won, but the officials decided they wanted a different name.
  • Gerard Way named his daughter Bandit.
    • Meanwhile, their dog is named Susan Michelle.
  • Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria.
  • John Dickson Stufflebeem, formerly a Rear Admiral.
  • It just has to be awkward to dub Anime with the name Yuri Lowenthal.
  • With a voice actor named Rodger Bumpass, no wonder Squidward is such a grouch.
    • Don't forget that "roger" is also slang for sex.
    • Gay anal sex, no less...doubly funny when you realize one of his SpongeBob costars is named Bill Fagerbakke.
  • One of the Deans of the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University is Muffin Lord [dead link].
  • Benno Baksteen (litterally translated Brick) was a Dutch airline pilot and for nearly a decade, the president of the Dutch federation of airline pilots, and as such, appeared on national television various times.
  • One of the associate producers on Firefly - and some other programmes, presumably - has the unfortunate name of Brian Wankum.
  • Let's take a look at Myke Hawke.
  • A Gay History of Britain: Love and Sex Between Men Since The Middle Ages was edited by Harry Cocks. You'd think he'd become an expert on something else, or at least start going by Henry.
  • It may not sound unfortunate, but woe betide the man whose parents give him the middle name "Wayne."
    • If one discounts the middle names, the linked list includes an Oral Nobles, a Randy Seal and a Tyler Justice (which would be a cool name if the man in question wasn't a convicted criminal)
  • Try being Miroslav Satan - a legitimate Slovak name that when Anglicized becomes the name of Old Scratch himself.
    • Particularly amusing: note the database ID he was given on the Yahoo Sports site.
    • Tis a shame he never played for the New Jersey Devils...
    • It's even more hilarious in virtually all Slavic countries, where his name simply means 'Satan'. (It is pronounced 'Shatan').
  • A book of the top worst British surnames gave their top nominations to Potty, Fartwell and Knob.
  • Ben Cheese.
  • A Japanese family with the last name Oke decide to name their daughter Carrie.
  • What about a urologist named Dick Chopp? Specializing in vasectomies, no less.
    • Comic Actor Harry Anderson, of Night Court fame, had his vasectomy done by Dr. Chopp and wrote about it for Playboy Magazine.
  • The name Pedro is very similar to the word that would most accurately be translated as "faggot" in most ex-Yugoslavian languages.
    • In Poland it is often sometimes used as a light-hearted reference to homosexual (sometimes as 'don Pedro', after a cult classic cartoon).
  • Anne Rice's original name was Howard Allen O'Brien - after her father - as her mother thought that it would be a "pretty interesting thing to do". On the first day of school, when asked what her name was, she said "Anne".
  • Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer. She's the new "boy named Sue" in that the name toughened her up.
  • Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association since '91. Parodied by George Carlin in his stand up work. "Hello, I'm LaPierre and I'm a gun-person... bang, baaaaang."
  • British actor Sean Biggerstaff. He is known for playing Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter movies.
  • There's a children's author named McPhail who must have had an awful childhood in his own youth.
    • Unless they're actually from Scotland, in which case the name would be considered perfectly ordinary.
      • Or from Ireland, where it is pronounced with open 'a', and simply means 'destiny'. On the other hand, expect Fianna Fail jokes.
    • The Twin Cities is home to a music school with the same unfortunate moniker.
    • The first female MP in the Canadian Parliament was named Agnes MacPhail.
    • There is an attorney named Dumas McPhail.
    • A teacher named MacPhail... unfortunately, not a Sadist Teacher.
    • The MacPhail version is the name of a well-known family of baseball executives.
    • It's also the name of a former Irish international footballer.
  • Then there's the actor Djimon Honsou, whose name sounds like something else.
    • It is actually pronounced 'Geemong'.
  • There's a law office of a Greg Mandick.
  • There is a Swiss hockey player named Adrian Wichser. His last name is German for 'wanker'.
  • A Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia was rejected by the latter because his name in Arabic means 'big penis'.
    • False.
    • Although the fact that it can be translated into Arabic as big dick is true. Just the part that he was rejected by Saudi Arabia (or that he was going there in the first place) is false.
  • Though seen as a pretty awesome name now, Benedict Cumberbatch's name was made fun of all the time when he was younger. He claims that the best nickname he had was "Bendy-Dick Cum-On-My-Baps".
  • Engelbert Humperdinck and the singer who adopted his name.
    • In the time said composer lived, his name was not only perfectly normal, but also pretty posh.
  • A sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun has the name Peter Schmuck.
  • Randy VanWarmer is not an adult movie actor.
  • The BBC has reported on an entire study of such names. Apparently they're not as rare as you might hope [1]
  • A man recognized in Asia to be instrumental in bringing down the Marcos Regime through the People Power Revolution was named Jaime Sin. By the way, he was a cardinal. So that's Cardinal Sin.
    • Cardinal Sin took it in stride though; when he had visitors to his residence, he welcomed them to the "House of Sin".
  • The musical director (that is, he chooses the songs to be used in the episodes) for Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes is one Mr. Edmund Butt.
  • One of the composers of background music for Roland Emmerich's films is credited as Thomas Wander... but that's just a pseudonym. His real name is Thomas Wanker. He's also one degree of separation from Joss Whedon, having composed background music for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • There's been at least a couple of people with Bastard as a last name. Likely, one of their ancestors had a Never Live It Down moment.
    • One of the weathermen for AccuWeather is named Joe Bastardi.
  • A producer for the film version of Bram Stokers Dracula is named Fred Fuchs. The implications of the name were not lost on The Angry Video Game Nerd.
    • It's 'phooks', and is German for 'fox'.
  • Singer Peter Noone (prounounced like the middle of the day) of Herman's Hermits was the recipient of many "no one" jokes during his childhood. In more recent years he's cracked the joke himself so many times that nobody else bothers anymore.
  • In a MythBusters episode, Adam and Jamie were shown in an aircraft museum, and their tour guide was North East West. (Given, Middle and last name, respectively.)
  • A French immigrant living in the Atlanta area bore the unfortunate name of Patrick Molesti. He is currently being sought by police on child pornography charges.
  • American Idol finalist Mike Lynche, "Big Mike" among friends, recently mentioned that he and his siblings (in their childhood, mind you) would form an unofficial singing group, calling themselves "The Lynche Mob". Bear in mind that this is a family of black people.
  • Another hockey player with a unfortunate last name is the Russian Alexander Semin. What makes it worse is that he's currently teammate with a player named Brooks Laich (last name pronounced "like"). This means that there's always the possibility (and a frequent joke on hockey forums) that the team will play the forward lineup (a forward lineup constisting of three players): (random player), Laich...
    • It doesn't qualify. They are regular Russian names that are pronounced, respectively as 'sehmeen' (exactly as in the word 'seminal') and 'laikh' (it's nowhere near 'like'). On the other hand, 'Laich' sounds like work for 'cadaver' in German.
  • Also, the goaltender for the Washington Capitals is named Semyon Varlamov. His name was listed as something else in NHL 2009
    • Which is an interesting case. Russian variant of this name is pronounced 'syemyohn'. Ukrainian variant is pronounced exactly as Latin term 'semen'.
  • Dick Pound. Bonus points for having a job that makes a huge deal of urine tests - and making a few enemies along the way.
  • The Canadian voice actor, probably best known for dubbing the eponymous character in Inuyasha: Richard Cox. It must have been a joy to be him in middle school.
  • Actress Marcia Gay Harden, known for the role of Sara Reynolds from Flubber.
  • Wilma Mankiller, first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.
  • According to the Annals of Improbable Research, one man's passport literally reads "Odd Person".
  • Court TV carried a trial where an FBI agent testified. Special Agent Jeffrey Dahmer. No relation.
  • Bonner Gaylord
  • Lucious Pusey
  • Peter O'Toole. Not so bad perhaps but it is a double phallic name.
  • One of the leaders of the white supremacist movement in South Africa was Eugne Terreblanche (the last name being French for "white land".
  • Dan Le Batard is an American sports writer.
  • Jazz pianist Dick Hyman.
  • Dolores. Doesn't seem bad at first, but when you consider its origins...[7]
    • Similarly, Mary (and all its variations) mean "Sea of Bitterness".
  • Randy Bender. UK tech site The Register has had a lot of fun with the Unfortunate Implications of this name.
  • Iker Casillas, the leader of the Spanish football team that won the 2010 World Cup, had his surname translated from Spanish as "toilet."
  • One of the candidates in the 2010 General Elections in the Netherlands was called Patricia Assmann, hailing from the city of Nijmegen, and parts of the city and the surrounding area were covered in posters bearing her face and her name in large letters. If the elections had been just a bit later, said posters would have been around for the annual event which draws huge quantities of mostly English-speaking foreigners to the area.
  • The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, had been ratted by his critics lately, using the first three letters of his surname to mock him.
  • A local television anchor is named Randy Beamer. And the biggest supermarket chain in the area, which successfully drove out competition from stores such as Kroger and Albertsons, was started by a man named Howard E. Butt, who used his initials as the store's name.
    • There is even a Product line for babies called "Baby Butt".
  • In germany, there are still some people with the family name Goebbels. Some try to change their name or insist to speak it as "Goebels".
  • The Bishop Museum in Hawaii had, for several years, Director Donald Duckworth.
  • There is a British TV extra and sometimes presenter called Justin Case.
  • In a similar vein as Ford Prefect, there's an England international rugby player named Austin Healy.
  • From the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Manuel Phfister. (sp?)
  • Piness is a real family name.
  • One of the most famous writers of opera librettos in the 18th century was Antonio Pietro Metastasio.
  • Johnny Depp's rise to stardom was thankfully not slowed down by his last name being a German word for "idiot". ("Dorfdepp" = "village idiot").
  • Sheila Dikshit.
  • Taken way over the line in this clip.
  • Imogen Poots.
    • To top it off her full name is Imogen Gay Poots
  • Poor Alison Doody.
  • The vocalist of the band The Sisters of Mercy is named Andrew Eldritch.
  • Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner, though it's actually not pronounced "Boner".
  • The commander of US troops in Vietnam was General Westmoreland.
  • Concha seems to be a normal female name in Spain. In Argentina, however, the word got the meaning of "pussy". So it's not anormal to find an old woman in the family with the unfortunate name, often combined with unfortunates married last names, creating gems like "Concha de Vaca" ("Cows pussy").
  • There is an old man somewhere in America whose name is Harry Potter. Unsurprisingly, for the past several years he's had a lot of annoying callers and visitors.
    • Just one? There have got to be thousands of Harry Potters out there between America and the UK.
  • Lipschitz, and its variations.
  • A man once named his son Junior. No middle name, just Junior xxxxxxx. When Junior grew up and had a son, he was named Junior xxxxxxx Jr.
  • Chris Buttars (yes, that's his real name), whose record and reputation is as unfortunate as his name. It was very, very easy for him to be nicknamed "Buttarse".
  • Leonard Woodcock, who in the '70s headed the United Auto Workers and then served as U.S. ambassador to China under Jimmy Carter.
  • Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn (whose surname rhymes with "toe burn", FYI).
  • The San Francisco Giants have two pitchers named Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner. Their childhoods must have sucked.
  • A non-comedic version of this is true about common African-American names. Various studies have been conducted, that say basically that office type jobs will take the resume of someone named Amber more seriously than someone named Shaniqua. The same is also true in some places of foreign sounding names, which is why many foreigners upon coming to the U.S. adopt an American name. Some of them try to be close to their original names (for example Jun Mei may become June May) but some may pick the most American sounding name they can find (for example American politician Bobby Jindal's real first name is Piyush).
  • Recently, there was a gubernatorial candidate in Illinois named Rich Whitney. Not remotely unfortunate in and of itself, but due to a clerical error, some voting machines dropped the 'n' from his surname [dead link].
  • and then, of course, there was the 17th century businessman Nicholas Barbon. Nicholas If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thou-Sins-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon.
    • eldest son of Praise-God Barbon to boot.
  • Chris Colfer could count as one; his middle name is Paul and when mixed with certain last names, like Bacon, Chris P. Bacon is quite laughable.
  • New York congressman Anthony Weiner is bad enough, but his father's name is Seymore Weiner. And then to make it worse, Anthony Weiner got involved in a sex scandal involving pictures of guess which body part...
    • The press had way too much fun coming up with punny headlines when the scandal broke. "Obama beats Weiner" and "Weiner: I'm sticking it out" among them.
  • One of the first presidents of the bank of America was Preserved Fish. It's pronounced Pre-ZER-vid, and was actually a commond name among Quakers at the time. The worst part is, he is correctly Preserved Fish III.
  • The surname Unkovich will become this in Japan, where "Unko" means "shit" and "vich" is pronounced like "bitch".
  • Hungarian-American director Nimród Antal.
  • Miss New Zealand 2011 Priyani Puketapu [8]
    • Despite the unfortunate-sounding name, she looks like this.
  • Being Osama is a 2004 Canadian documentary film about six Montreal Arab men, who suffered various kinds of harassment, just because their first name is Osama.
  • There was an article man named Stewart Pid, one can just imagine the insults he got back in the day.
  • A Texan lawyer [dead link] with the name Tennessee Wilson Walker. Boy, the flak he must get for having the name of a breed of horse.
  • Jerry Mander. As in gerrymander.
  • Some have proposed naming their daughter Elphaba or Nessarose. There are quite a few Glindas too.
  • Harvest Moon is a Native American name. Not to mention Skywalker.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher J.J. Putz.
    • Wonder if he's ever been interviewed by Baltimore Sun baseball writer Peter Schmuck?
  • Sebastian Vettel became the youngest man to win the formula one world championship in 2010. "Vettel" happens to be a (old-fashioned) German word meaning "disagreeable old woman" (coined by students from Latin vetula).
  • What about President and CEO of Food for the Poor Mr. Robin Mahfood!!
  • One couple in New York, mentioned in Freakonomics, named their daughter Temptress. They meant to name her Tempestt (after the actress Tempestt Bledsoe), but made a very unfortunate spelling error on the birth certificate.
  • The Dutch / Flemish surnames "Depute" and "Vandepute" sounds like this in French. "Pute" is the French for "whore".
  • Political commentator Krystal Ball, whose parents burdened her with a "porn star name".
  • Political news commentator, George Stephanopoulos, a surname that's quite a mouthful. The poor guy must have caught hell in grade school.
  • Any Brazilian athlete who got the name Ricardinho. Which sounds just fine in their native lands, until the name was translated to English which became Little Richard...
    • But in Brazil it's better not to nickname Ricardão, "Big Richard", instead. It's the local nickname for "the other guy" in an adultery.
  • Let's not forget voice actor Jim Cummings.
  • Gerry Sandusky, a Baltimore sports anchor and announcer for the Baltimore Ravens. He now has to deal with having to share the name of alleged child molester Jerry Sandusky.
  • Anyone with "Wang" or "Dong" in their names would probably qualify for this trope. But try being Wang Dong.
  • Keith Wakefield, a councilor for Leeds City Council and Labour Party member. Not such an Unfortunate Name you would think... except Wakefield is the city which considers itself Leeds' biggest rival (after Sheffield and Hull). OK, so it's not like the examples above, but, It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Hungary has its share, to the point where some became so infamous that it's hard to tell if they're true names or just jokes. A seemingly legit one is Fütty Imre (fütyimre = onto my cock). What more, in some parts of the country, Buzi (Gay/Faggot) is apparently a common family name, originally derived from the tame Búzai.
  • Botswana soccer player Dipsy.Selolwane.
  • Screenwriter Anita Loos ("I need a loo.")
  • An Egyptian father named his daughter Facebook.
  • Rafael "Rafe" Bartholomew recounts in his book Pacific Rims how his nickname became a very unfortunate one in parts of the Philippines where the local language or dialect makes little distinction between "p" and "f."
  • Don't like your name? Think it's too common, too unusual, or just plain odd sounding? You will never think your name is bad again after watching this video of Victorian names, including such gems as Princess Cheese, Evil, and Farting.
  • Oliver Loser, a German politician.
  • In a TV ad for Shake 'n Bake, the woman doing one of those (supposedly) improvised, random person off the street, product endorsements was named Topi Smeli.
  • Richard Ian Cox, the English dub voice of both Inuyasha and Ranma Saotome (male form).
  • Rick Santorum. Sound innocent to you? Well...
  • If you shorten the first name of film editor Tom Rolf, A.C E. (which stands for American Cinema Editors to a single letter, you get something similar to "trollface". (T. Rolf, A.C.E.)
  • Irish Rugby League player Wayne Kerr... think about it! Makes you wonder about his motivation to get into such a macho sport.
  • Anal is a rather common Indian male name. It means "fire".
  • Russian soccer player Yuri Zhirkov ("zheer-kov," often mispronounced Jerkoff)
  • Actress Mimi Rogers' real name is Miriam Spickler. You can see why she changed it.
  • There was a man in the North Carolina Coast Guard (Oak Island) named Ernest Sprey, at one point was at the rank of Seaman. For almost a year his title was Seaman Sprey (much ridicule followed).
  • The name "Karen" has seen a general decline in popularity as a baby name, due to informal use of the name as an insult towards racist or entitled white women (at least, at first).
  • "Alexa" has declined in popularity due to the obnoxious confusion that results upon likely triggering a response from someone's Amazon Echo.
  • Porntip is a Thai female given name.

Real Life (Places)


  • As the old joke goes, "What's the capital of Thailand? Bangkok!" *kick to the balls*
    • Or: "I'm going to travel to Thailand." "Are you going to Bangkok?" "Of course I am!" "I always had this funny feeling about you..." "Ffffffffuuuuuuuu"
    • Or the fake proverb: "Man who go through airport turnstyle sideways going to Bangkok."
  • And speaking of Thailand, there's a city named Phuket. Sadly, the correct pronunciation of this name is "Poo-ket"; Spike Milligan's calling it "fuck it" was either a mistake or a deliberate joke.
    • If you tell this to someone from the Philippines, everyone will think of a woman's vagina.
  • Also in Thailand, though it's more of pronouncing it wrong, a place in Bangkok, which is to be pronounced Bang-Suh, is spelled Bang Sue. "Hey hon, you rest here for a while in our hotel; I'll be going out for a while. I'm going to Bang Sue, okay?"
  • In Thailand, there is a Buddhist temple called Analayo Temple. (Looks like anal-ayo but the pronunciation is A-na-la-yo.)
  • Sasmuan, Pampanga, Philippines. Why does it belong here? Its former name was Sexmoan. The latter was the result of Spanish friars trying to transcribe the town's native name during the Spanish colonial era, but the town reverted to its former name in 1991 after townsfolk unannimously agreed that "Sexmoan" sounded too risque.
  • The nuclear plant that melted down in Japan in the wake of the 2011 earthquake was named Fukushima Daiichi, the latter word meaning "the big one". (Technically, "daiichi" is just one of several ways of saying "number one" in Japanese.)
  • The Japanese town Kusobakama; it's name means "Shit (your) pants". The town was named because according to some historical texts, an army which lost a battle ran into the town and because of their fear, they "shit their pants" according to this article on Cracked.


  • Eromanga, Australia
  • Dookie, Victoria.


  • The village of Malice, Poland. A literal town called Malice.
  • Hell, Norway.
    • And as Norway is abbreviated NO, we get Hell NO.
    • There's also a Hell, Michigan.
      • It does indeed freeze over.
    • And a Hell for Certain, Kentucky.
  • Fucking, Austria. The town spends considerable money replacing a street sign bearing the town's name because it is constantly being stolen.
    • Nowadays they have theft-protected road signs.
      • Take special note at the last line of the linked article, listing other hilarious German city names. Especially notable is Kingdom of Heaven. So...Hell is in Norway and Heaven is in Germany?
    • Also in Austria: Windpassing.
    • A bit across the border with Germany is Petting, Bavaria. There's also Bad Kissingen, also in Bavaria.
  • In Germany, there are town names Kotzen (German for Vomiting), Meinkot (My Shit in German), Drecksloch (Literally Dirty Hole/Place, but it also means terrible place) to name a few. There is also the town Tuntenhausen, which means "home of the faggots", which gets many jokes because it's also the residence of the catholic mens choir. (Although note that those names only appear like that nowadays, and the actual etymology is different.)
  • The German word for Ace is "As/Ass". This creates some rather unfortunate names for groups and companies. For example, in Xbox Live, a german gaming clan was banned for naming itself "Ass Team". Failblog also collected many examples for example a truck called Ass Transport
  • There is a mountain in Bavaria called "Wank". Partially Clips had some fun with this here.
    • Similarly, Wankdorf is a suburb of the Swiss capital Berne. It's best known for the football stadium.
      • A football stadium which is home to the Young Boys.
  • In UK, there's a school called The Perse School for much hilarity to the Finns, because perse means arse in finnish.
  • There are plenty of this kind of name in the UK; Wetwang, Pratt's Bottom, Nether Wallop... And that's without taking the Scunthorpe Problem into account.
    • Piddle In The Hole is becoming more famous thanks to a beer named after it.
    • Some towns are catchign on and have removed certain letters from the name. Example? S(h)itterton. And sometimes slang strikes - the slang word 'cunny' for example (not saying what it's used for here)... and, well, Scunthorpe itself would count due to being referred to sometimes as Scunny. Scunthorpe just can't win.
  • There's a small town by the name of Condom in the south-west of France.
  • There's a small town in Ukraine with a predominantly Hungarian population called Nevetlenfalu ("nameless village" in Hungarian). This is an improvement over its previous name, Gyakfalva (something like "screw-village"). It was changed sometime in the 17th century; according to the local legend, when a soldier asked a peasant girl from the village that what's its name, she was too embarrassed to say, so instead said that it has no name. This eventually caught on.
  • There is a town in Scotland that has a local museum called Dick Institute. You gotta wonder about the exhibits.
  • The town of "Poil" ("Hairs") in France. "Où tu vis ? A Poil ?" ("Where do you live? In Poil / Naked ?)
  • The Greek Island of Lesbos, which inhabitants used to be called "Lesbians". Nowadays they insist on the demonym "Lesvonians".
  • Who could forget a certain Welsh town called, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (thank Deity for Cut/Paste). You can hardly even pronounce this place! That one scene in Barbarella must've taken 100 takes alone! What is it with the UK & stupid names? Just call it "Llanfair" & leave it at that!
    • That's precisely what they do.
  • Wetwang, East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The meaning is less sexually-related, meaning "damp fields", the "-wang" representing Old Norse vaengr "fields, ford", so the unfortunate effect is lessened when you know what it means.
  • Hungary has Bugyi (panties), Csesznek (they're screwing), Mogyoród (your nuts), likewise Heréd (your testicle), and various settlements called Ondód (your semen—though these have since been renamed or merged into larger towns).
  • Cockermouth, United Kingdom.
  • How much you want to bet that folks who live in Slough, a town in Berkshire, have heard every dirty joke about menstruation in the book?

North America


Grand Cayman:

  • Hell, Grand Cayman. Of course, it's a fitting name because of how it looks.

The USA:

  • Morehead Kentucky. There's a theatre there called Morehead cinema.
  • Arcadia University (currently located in Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA) used to go by the name of Beaver College, as it was founded in the town of Beaver in the 19th century. In 2001, its president decided upon the change partially due to the many jokes associated with the female anatomy.
  • RHD Hospital in Dallas used to be named Dedman Hospital, after someone named R.H. Dedman. Not exactly the most inviting name for a hospital.
    • As of 2010 it's called "Dallas Medical Center", but everybody still calls it Dedman.
  • The city of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which chose to rename itself after the TV show.
    • A similar case is when the small town of Clark, Texas, changed its name to DISH in 2005 so its 218 residents could receive free satellite TV for ten years.
  • The U.S. state of Pennsylvania has Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, Virginville, and Blue Ball within about a fifteen-minute drive from each other.

Richard Hammond: (while passing through Intercourse) You don't think there was a hamlet called "Foreplay" down there we should have popped into first?

    • Blue Ball is about halfway between Intercourse and Paradise. Seriously. There's also a Mars. And apparently, a lot of out-of-staters don't believe Slippery Rock is a real place. There are also cities called Indiana and California, which can get confusing.
      • Don't forget Jim Thorpe, Port Royal, King of Prussia, Mexico (there's two of them), Eighty-four, Needmore, Nanty-Glo... There's a lot of odd, unfortunate, or both place names in Pennsylvania.
    • Intercourse in particular is a sterling example of this trope, due to the roots of the name. It was dubbed Intercourse because it was originally built up as a place where people would share news - e.g., have an intercourse of conversation. Bird-in-Hand got its name from a sign on an old hotel. Blue Ball and Virginville... well, there's less of a connection.
      • In Indiana we have the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Obviously akin to Miami University (in Ohio).
      • Hollywood, Maryland is just down the highway from California, Maryland.
      • Don't forget Hancock, Maryland.
      • There's also Red Lion, PA. No Voltron sightings yet, unfortunately.
  • Mianus, Connecticut, as mentioned on Jackass
  • Again, Uranus? It's in Missouri. And, as of September 2018, the local newspaper is The Uranus Examiner.
  • There's an Ontario, California (Ontario, CA). More confusing than humorous.
    • Especially because it has an airport; people have been known to accidentally book flights there when they mean to go to Toronto or Ottawa.
  • Michigan has several such cities, including Hell, Paradise, and Climax.
    • And we can't forget Exit 69 on the Big Beaver Road.
      • Note that until 1995, one of the first things you saw upon getting off Exit 69 onto Big Beaver Road was Troy High School, leading to incessant jokes towards its students and alumni. The school has since moved (although the jokes persisted for at least another ten years)...to be replaced at the Big Beaver location with the Troy Community Center.
  • There's a state park in Kentucky called Big Bone Lick. Apparently, the area drew large Pleistocene animals to a natural salt lick.
    • Even funnier is that the park in question is located near the town of Beaverlick.
  • Many folks fondly remember river rafting in Satan's Kingdom, Connecticut.
  • The Massachusetts State House infamously has the General Hooker Entrance [dead link] on Beacon St., named after Civil War General Joseph Hooker. The joke, naturally, is that the Specialized Hooker Entrance is on the opposite side.
  • There is a small town in Texas called Lolita; it was named in the 1910s, and allegedly nearly changed its name in the '50s, after Vladimir Nabokov's novel was published. Nabokov mentions the town in his later novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle.
  • Cumming, Iowa.
  • There's a bridge in Mexico named Salsipuedes, whose name can be translated from Spanish as Get out (from here), if you can.
  • Amherst, Massachusetts, is a typical multicollege town... so there are streets named "Gaylord", "High", and "Potwine". Those street signs are always being stolen, too - wonder why.
    • Then there's one of those colleges, Hampshire College. Again, not bad by itself, but it had a building named after its former president - becoming Adelle Smith Simmons Hall. The "Smith" was quickly dropped, but not before "Ass-hall" became ingrained in the minds of the student body.
  • Butte, Montana. It's said "Byoo-t"
  • Boring, Oregon. And Maryland.
  • The Midwest has several of these: Wisconsin has the Bong Recreation Area and the Kickapoo River, and Indiana has French Lick (it's a lake).
  • Stanford University is sometimes acronymed to StfU.
  • Mianus, Maine
  • In the U.S. state of Michigan, you'll find the towns of Colon, White Cloud, and Flushing.
  • In Columbus, Ohio, there is an intersection between two busy streets, specifically High street and Gay street.
    • It gets better: That's the location of Sugardaddy's brownies. This may, however, also be an example of Meaningful Name.
  • Another town has the intersection of Gay and Church.
    • And then there's the intersection of Church and State, which should be avoided on strictly constitutional grounds, but which exists in Concord NH (within view of the state house), Rochester NY (near the federal building) and quite a few other American towns. Likely not what the founding fathers intended.
    • And the intersection of Union and Division; the inherent contradiction caused the Queen's University campus in southeastern Ontario, Canada to implode and vanish in a puff of logic.
  • When Houston's Major League Baseball franchise placed a minor league team in Kissimmee, Florida, they gave the team's location as Osceola County in order to avoid having people refer to the team as the Kissimmee Astros.

South America

  • On the border of Peru and Bolivia lies beautiful Lake Titicaca.
    • For Spanish and French speakers, it's the "caca" part ("poop"). And if you replace the "T" letters, it could sound like "Pipicaca" (Piss and Poop).
    • And for anyone in the Philippines, the "titi" part is the unfortunate one, meaning "penis".
    • It gets better, Lake Titicaca is connected, via Rio Desaguadero (Drainage River), to Lake Poopo.
  • There is a city in Brazil called Buttsex. You can look for it on Google Earth.
  • There is the Venezuelan state Carabobo. The name originates from some aborigine phrase meaning "water-surrounded plains", but in Spanish sounds as a fast contraction of the phrase "Cara de bobo", meaning dumbface. The joke writes itself.


  • Le Tampon is a commune in the French island of Réunion.
  • Whakapapa state park. To add to this immaturity, realize that in the Maori language whs are pronounced as fs.
  • Erromanga, Vanuatu.

Real Life (Other)

  • Trojan Condoms. The Trojan Horse was made to get past barriers and release a lot of little guys.
  • Canola oil is derived from the rape plant. Indeed, the term "canola oil" was invented (from the phrase "Canadian oil, low acid") in The Seventies both for trademark reasons, since in Canada trademarked names can't be similar to common words, and because the folks who were making it were afraid that people (read: women/housewives) wouldn't buy "Rapeseed oil." The Canadian Rapeseed Association specifically noted the bad connotations of the word "rapeseed" when the term was introduced. This isn't as much of a problem in the rest of the world where the word "rape" has no such connotation.
  • In Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounding areas, there is a dish which consists of spaghetti noodles, Cincinnati-style chili, and grated cheddar cheese. Its name? "Three-Way".
    • If you add onions or beans it is called a four way. If you onions and beans it is called a five way.
  • The iCup urinary drug test.
  • Not even the Taiwanese Air Force is immune from this: their locally produced fighter is called the F-CK-1.
  • The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is no laughing matter. But one can't help but snicker nowadays when calling them by their more popular acronym. FYI, they called themselves the MILF way before that other meaning came out.
  • In 2007, Seattle got a streetcar. The proposed name? South Lake Union Transit. It's now called the Seattle Streetcar which... isn't better.
    • The streetcar's unfortunate name was pointed out by The Stranger, an "alternative" paper that often indulges in raunchy humor and commentary (it's the home of sex columnists Dan Savage and Mistress Matisse), and T-shirts with "Ride the [SLUT]" are freely available at independent booksellers and coffee shops in town.
  • Male chicken are called "Cocks", you get the picture.
    • You may have seen t-shirts with the words COCKS on it; they are t-shirts for the South Carolina Gamecocks.
      • As a result, South Carolina's rival Clemson University has shirts with "Beat the Cocks" on them.
    • Top Gear presenter James May has been sighted wearing a T-shirt with "Oh" written above a picture of a rooster.
  • The First Unitarian Church of Berkeley isn't actually in Berkeley, California. It's in the next town north, Kensington. The "First Unitarian Church of Kensington" wouldn't abbreviate well, because...
  • Nad's Natural Hair Removal Gel. Probably not intended for that particular area.
  • ShamWow! The cheesy demonstrations do not help.
  • What was the name of the Soviet Union's feared Secret Police? I don't know; let's KGB it.
  • Let us not forget the African dik-dik, and the European tit.
    • One species of tit is called the Great Tit. So if you have a pair of them then you've got...
    • Don't forget the booby!
    • Or the shag, at least for British tropers.
  • There is an actual mathematical paper known as the "Cox-Zucker" paper after its authors. It was Cox's idea to write -something- with Zucker just so it could come into existence under that name.
    • At least they didn't call it Zucker-Cox...
  • The diet candy Ayds was quickly driven off the market once AIDS started becoming part of the public consciousness in the '80s.
  • Pokari Sweat (drink), Krapp (toilet paper), Smeg (fridges), and many more.
  • There are baby-changing tables called Sturdy Stations. The ones in public toilets frequently have a couple of letters scratched out.
  • Certain breeds of dog should just not be bred with the poodle.
    • Shih-tzu + poodle= Shih poo, recently changed to Poosh.
    • Cocker Spaniel + poodle= Cock-A-Poo
    • Bulldog + shih-tzu = Bullshiht
    • Jack Russell terrier + shih-tzu = Jack Shiht
  • Spotted dick is a traditional favorite in the UK, but in the US sounds more like something you'd alert your urologist about.
  • Wang Film Productions. No, they don't produce porn.[9]
  • The California Bay Area's regional train system is known quite commonly as B.A.R.T. (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Plans for a similar system in the Fresno region surprisingly got off the ground shortly after. The two names used being 'Fresno Area Rapid Transit' and 'Fresno Area Rapid Transport System'.
  • The everlasting classic Pen Island, manufacturer of pens and namer of tropes.
  • The game development studio Behaviour Interactive used to be called "Artificial Mind and Movement" which isn't too bad, except that their name shortened to "A 2 M". Go ahead, google it.
  • There exists at least one racehorse with the name "Hoof Hearted". It may not look bad on paper, but try saying it out loud...
  • The chemical fucitol, which naturally led to an imaginary drug that makes the joke even more obvious.
  • The Small Wang Museum, a website about the computer company "Wang Computers".
  • There is a dance style related to the jitterbug called "shag" found along the North and South Carolina coasts. Cue British tourists snickering every time they pass signs for "shag lessons" or "shag contests".
    • You think that's bad? (It's a ballroom studio. Ironically, they do not teach the Carolina Shag. And yes, one of the owners is British and yes, he knows EXACTLY what the word means in the UK.)
  • Sambo's, a defunct restaurant chain. The name was taken from founders Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnett. Unfortunately, "Sambo" is sometimes a perjorative term for black people.
  • The term "Anal Personality" coined by Sigmund Freud really sounds more like an insult disguised as a medical diagnosis.
  • "Wifebeater" is a thin, usually white, sleeveless shirt. The name couldn't have been an accident.
    • it isn't an accident. ever been hit by one that's soaked?
  • Honda had to rename one of their car models, Honda Fitta ("small on the outside, but it feels big once you're in it!") when launching it in Scandinavia since "fitta" is the Swedish word for "cunt."
  • A few unintended examples of Fun with Acronyms:
    • Financial firm Schroders was launching a new investment vehicle called the Schroders High Income Trust. They'd printed most of the promotional materials when someone noticed and the name was hurriedly changed to the Schroders High Income Fund.
    • It's somewhat fitting that UNESCO's program to bring universal internet coverage to all people has the acronym IFAP...
    • A committee for road safety in Ontario started off naming itself the Association of Road Safety Educators. When someone pointed out what this spelled, they changed it to the Road Safety Educators Association.
    • And then there's the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party, which had the name for a day before realising that adding "party" after the intended name (CCRA) revealed the conservative reform alliance party to be crap.
  • You, your wife, and your Johnson!
  • Presenting the Wunder Boner! That could not have been accidental.
  • Both the fictional kingdom of Corona and Corona Extra became this when the COVID-19 pandemic, often referred to simply as the "coronavirus", (though technically "coronavirus" can also refer to a family of related viruses besides COVID-19, MERS and SARS) kicked in in late 2019 to early 2020. The latter beer brand suffered a decline in sales after negative connotations over the name developed as a result of the pandemic, with large numbers of hard-of-thinking people somehow convinced that they might get the virus by drinking Corona.
  • Hostess Ding Dongs. This has been one of their most popular sellers since 1967, but jokes about their name are also rather popular.
  1. two dots written above a Japanese character
  2. Shuzo Otaki in the original version, which seems a lot more dignified
  3. It's commonly said that he was their founder or first leader, but historians debate this point; it's also known that he denounced and left the group when they started getting violent
  4. ...not counting the spinoffs of Empires and Kessen, much less the Xtreme Legends spinoffs either. That raises it to around 10 games!
  5. pronounced like "ballsack".
  6. Track = we can only assume an actual Track or field, Bristol = Bristol Bay, Willow = Willow, AK, Piper = Piper Aircraft, Trig = who knows
  7. It comes from the Latin doleo, dolere, to be sad, upset, in pain
  8. it's bad enough when the first four letters mean vomit and,in Philippine slang, it means vagina. That elicited chuckles when Philippine tropers initially heard about the name.
  9. They're a Taiwanese animation studio.