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A surprisingly common form of Theme Naming is the practice of naming characters after real-life celebrities and famous people.
One way this can be done is to give a group of characters a set of names which, when combined, form the name of a famous person. An advanced version gives a person the same first name as a famous person, and has their last name included as a middle name. Another variation is to give a group of characters the first names of a well-known group, such as a group of friends named John, Paul, George, and Richard/Ringo, after The Beatles.
Compare Shout-Out Theme Naming.
Compare also Famous-Named Foreigner, when foreign characters are named after famous people from their countries just because the creators Did Not Do the Research. If the name in question isn't actually the character's real name but a fake one that they're using after a real or fictional famous person, it's a Character Name Alias.
Anime and Manga
- The three recurring old geezers on Cowboy Bebop had thematic names -- Antonio, Carlos and Jobim. Put them together and you get the name of a famous musician.
- The same for goes for the adopted children of the eponymous character of Eureka Seven: Maurice, Maeter, and Linck after the Nobel Prize winning essayist and author of The Blue Bird Of Happiness.
- Due to Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Medieval Europe that Zero no Tsukaima takes place in, it's no wonder some of the characters are named after somebody famous. Examples:
- Our main tsundere mage heroine Louise. She is named after Louise de La Valliere, one of Louis XIV's mistresses who became a duchess.
- Tabitha aka Charlotte Helene Orleans, the Captain Ersatz mage to Yuki Nagato of Haruhi fame, is named after Helene d'Orleans.
- The seductive "Subtle Flame" that is Kirche? Her Overly Long Name is Kirche Augusta Frederika von Anhalt Zerbst. The character sheet mentions her name is taken from Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst, who is none other than Catherine II of Russia.
- In Bakusou Kyoudai Let's and Go, the main characters' names, Retsu and Gou, are a pun on "Let's go!". Also, combined with their friend Jun, the three are named for Jun Retsugou, the stage name of Yoshiji Watanabe, one of the members of a 70's Japanese manzai comedy trio.
- Almost everybody in Jo Jo's Bizarre Adventure is named after a band, movie, or rock star. Dio Brando, the main villain, is named after both Ronnie James Dio and Marlon Brando.
- In Bleach the top ten Arrancar, the Espada, are all named after, of all things, Mexican architects and designers.
- In Cromartie High School, all of the schools, including the titular one, are named after foreigners that played on Japanese baseball teams.
- Maria Watches Over Us uses names of Samurai and noble families for most of its important characters. Exceptions to this rule are specifically pointed out (Yumi and Sei).
- The villainous robots/cyborgs in Metal Guardian Faust are named after Santa's reindeer, and have name-appropriate enhancements (Vixen has robotic tails, Blitz generates Electro Magnetic Pulses, Dasher is incredibly fast, etc.).
- In Samurai Pizza Cats, the New York Pizza Cats' original Japanese names are as follows:
- Sundance Kid = Michael, who even does Jackson's dance moves, including his Moonwalk.
Michael (in Gratuitous English): Hey you! Bad! Bad! You are bad!
- Edward and Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist are named after real-life medieval alchemists, as is Hohenheim.
- Friedrich and Voltaire, Caro's dragons in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. If you don't recognize the names, you need to brush up on your European philosophers.
- Mecha pilot Jung Freud from Gunbuster (named after Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud).
- Team Rocket from the English dub of Pokémon is made up entirely of this- Jessie + James = Jesse James, Butch + Cassidy = Butch Cassidy, etc.
- Rave Master had Deep Snow's Quirky Miniboss Squad named after actors who've portrayed James Bond, including Dalton the Chrysalis, Lazenby of the White Flame, Goldeneye Brosnan, and Moore the Full Moon.
- The Paper Sisters in the Read or Die TV series are named after the three actresses who played the main characters in The Heroic Trio.
- Trowa Barton from Gundam Wing was named for Tim Burton; Masashi Ikeda, the director of Wing, is an unabashed fan of Burton's works and directorial style.
- Two members of the Shrike Team in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam are named after Jazz singers Helen Merrill and Mahalia Jackson, just with the surnames switched.
- Gundam Unicorn: Audrey Burne is named after Audrey Hepburn.
- Code Geass: Nina Einstein, who went on to develop the Geass-world's first Weapon of Mass Destruction, the FLEIJA warhead.
- Fuura Kafuka (actually an alias) and Arai Chie (which can also be read as "Ni Chie") from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei are named after Franz Kafka and Friedrich Nietzsche, respectively.
- One Piece : Many characters are named after pirates or explorers.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula: Knight Schumacher was named for famous Formula One champion Michael Schumacher and Leon Earnhardt was named for NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
- Speed Racer's Japanese name, Go Mifune (as well as the last name of the rest of his family), was named for famous Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.
- Black Butler: Snake's snakes are named Bronte, Oscar, Wilde, Keats, Wordsworth, and Webster.
- Heck, a lot of characters are either named after someone famous (look up Sebastien Michaelis on the other wiki), or are someone famous themselves such as the Queen and her bodyguards.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Katsuhiko becomes the Bugrom's military leader, and gains six Bugrom underlings. He nicknames them Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Gummo (after the fifth Marx Brother who didn't appear in any of the movies) and Margaret(after Margaret Dumont, who frequently played Groucho's love interest/straight woman).
- The girls in Strike Witches are named after real-life ace pilots.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino says that Char Aznable is named after the French musician, Charles Aznavour.
- The Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome mangaverses have a late-story antagonist named after Marie Antoinette.
- In the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie series, many relations to the main characters are named after historical figures: members of the Brotherhood of Guardians are named after peaceful revolutionaries and/or physicists/philosophers, same as their fire-ant compatriots (Rembrandt, Sojourner, Hawking, Archimedes, etc.), while Tails' father and uncle are named Amadeus and Merlin, respectively.
- In the 3rd Annual issue of ALF, Gordon relates how he met the New Age Melmutant Abstract Turtles, a parody of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, if that wasn't blindingly obvious. Like the originals, they were named for artists: Calder (after Alexander, Mondrian (after Piet, Picasso (after ...you know, or I hope you do, and Pollock (after Jackson). Each turtle's weapon's ability was related to their namesake's most well-known art's style (boomerangs that hang villains from mobiles, a t-square that creates abstract geometric walls, a paintbrush that turns villains into cubist creatures, and a bucket of paint that... splatters villains, respectively).
- The main characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are named after famous Italian artists from the Renaissance. In the '80s cartoon, they were briefly joined by a foursome of mutant frogs, who were all named after historical conquerors and warlords (Genghis Khan, Atilla the Hun, Rasputin the Mad Monk, and Napoleon Bonaparte).
- One of the many spoofs and rip-offs of TMNT back in the day had a set of rabbits named Avery, Jones, Clampett, and Freleng. (Alas, Google is no help to aid the troper's weak memory.)
- Another spoof of TMNT was Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, named after Clint (Eastwood), Chuck (Norris), Bruce (Lee), and Jackie (Chan).
- The names of the genetically engineered dogs in Kingdom are celebrity names with canine puns. The protagonist is named Gene the Hackman (Gene Hackman), and there's also Will Feral (Will Ferrall), Dingo Star (Ringo Star), Rex Horizon (Rex Harrison), Holly the Hunter (Holly Hunter), and Clara Bow (same).
- Amadeus Cho, of Incredible Hercules, is named after Mozart. His sister Maddy's full name? Madame Curie Cho.
- And his archenemy is Pythagoras Dupree.
- Stephen Stills of Scott Pilgrim is named after the folk singer of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. There's also a character named "Young Neil", an obvious reversal on Neil Young's name.
- Alan Moore's Promethea features a female cop named Lucille Ball in the supporting cast. She frequently has to say, "No relation" and remind people that she has No Sense of Humor.
- James Buchanan Barnes, formerly Captain America's sidekick Bucky, is named after US President James Buchanan. This is somewhat strange, considering how unpopular Buchanan was during his presidency, but whatever.
- James Jesse, the first Trickster, invoked Steven Ulysses Perhero when he decided to commit robberies like his "reverse namesake" Jesse James. In-universe, this was definitely not intentional on his parents' part; a later retcon had it that his father was an Italian immigrant who'd Anglicized their names while unaware of the potential implications.
- Doc and Clara Brown's sons, of Back To The Future Part III and the animated series, are called Jules and Verne after their favourite author.
- This actually proved to be a plot point in the animated series episode "A Verne By Any Other Name" - after being bullied about his name, Verne went back in time to convince his parents to name him something else.
- The Gates family, from the National Treasure' movies. The protagonist is Benjamin Franklin Gates. His father is Patrick Henry Gates, his father was named John Adams Gates--it's apparently a family tradition.
- The names of characters in Blazing Saddles include, among others of this type, Hedley Lamarr (Hedy Lamarr) and Olson Johnson (Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson). Other Johnsons include
Samuel and Howardthe whole town.
- In the film Red Eye, Cillian Murphy's villainous character is named Jackson Rippner.
- Heathers has a Veronica and a Betty, which you might think is a coincidence until you notice their equally significant last names - Sawyer and Finn respectively.
- In Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan plays "Chon Wang", misheard by Owen Wilson's character as "John Wayne". Lampshaded when O'Bannon declares "That's a terrible cowboy name!". It is later revealed that the real name of Roy O'Bannon is "Wyatt Earp".
- In Cool Runnings, one of the characters' names is Yul Brenner, which elicits a chuckle from one of his teammates.
- In Shortbus, Severin is deeply ashamed of her real name, and can only write it down on two slips of paper on Sophia's request. Her first name is Jennifer. Her last name? Aniston.
- Since Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda considered Easy Rider to be a modern day Western, the protagonists are Wyatt (Earp) and Billy (the Kid)
- In Office Space the main character Peter's best friend is named Michael Bolton, like the famous singer.
- Mean Girls features Janis Ian, named after the eponymous singer (who was lesbian, something the character is accused of being), whose song "At Seventeen" is even on the soundtrack.
- In The Last Song, the main character Ronnie (played by Miley Cyrus) is named after Miley's grandfather, Senator Ron Cyrus
Live Action TV
- Multiple characters in Lost are named after philosophers. There's John Locke (who for some time goes by another philosopher, Jeremy Bentham), Danielle Rousseau, Desmond David Hume, and Mikhail Bakunin, among others.
- Also, Daniel Faraday and Eloise Hawking are both named after physicists, which becomes important when it's revealed that Hawking is Faraday's mother.
- Charlotte Staple Lewis.
- In Thunderbirds ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy's sons are named Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John -- all of which happen to be the names of the Real Life Mercury Program astronauts.
- In real life, Virgil Ivan Grissom was better known to the public as "Gus".
- The three male leads in the UK detective drama New Tricks are Jack Halford, Brian "Memory" Lane, and Gerry Standing. The writer is a supporter of West Bromich Albion football (soccer) team, and Halford Lane Standing is the oldest stand at their grounds.
- The TV show based on Maniac Mansion has three kids named Ike, Tina and Turner.
- Some of the Tenctonese on Alien Nation are named after famous people, usually dead ones like Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Betsy Ross.
- Sam and Dean's aliases in Supernatural do this in spades.
- Their real last name, Winchester, is part of a firearms-theme in the show as a reference to Oliver Winchester of repeating-rifle fame.
- It might be better to say it's a reference to Oliver's daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester, making it not only a firearms reference but a supernatural one: Sarah believed she had to appease the spirits of victims of Winchester rifles by continuing construction on her home, and the "Winchester Mystery House" remains a paranormal landmark.
- Their real last name, Winchester, is part of a firearms-theme in the show as a reference to Oliver Winchester of repeating-rifle fame.
- The dying president on the Geena Davis show Commander in Chief was named Teddy Roosevelt Bridges.
- Lampshaded (of course) in the naval expedition sketch from episode 32 of Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Why does the senior personnel all bear the names of Hollywood film stars of the forties, and female ones at that?"
- Gavin and Stacey has a subtle one that eventually gets Lampshaded; the two central families are the Wests and the Shipmans, while the latter's neighbours are the Sutcliffes.  The other main characters are called Smith and Jenkins.
- Parodied in an episode of The Daily Show discussing the White House gatecrashing incident where the "Senior Correspondent" turns out to be a random crasher calling himself "Edward R. Brokaw-Amanpour"
- Jefferson Davis Hogg of The Dukes of Hazzard.
- And his brother Abraham Lincoln Hogg, the "white sheep" of the family.
- The Sheriff of Twin Peaks is Harry S. Truman. FBI Agent Cooper says that he should remember it, this time.
- Agent Cooper himself is named after the very mysterious D.B. Cooper
- Ryan Howard of The Office. The writers swear that the name, shared by the All-Star first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, is a coincidence, but consider that the American adaptation was in development in 2004, the same year Howard, a big-time prospect since he was drafted, played for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate in Scranton, which is where the show is set.
- Franklin Mumford on My Wife and Kids, although you really can't tell until you learn he has a sister named Aretha.
- Liam Gallagher from Shameless shares his name with the singer of Oasis, something clearly intentional as he is also from Manchester. Jokes are made on the subject on several occasions.
- Alfred Bester from Babylon 5. At first the name was just a Shout-Out, but then the Expanded Universe revealed he was also named after the author in-universe.
- In The X-Files, one of The Lone Gunmen is John Fitzgerald Byers, as he was born on the day JFK died. Also, Scully's name is taken from Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully (in "Irresistible" a character even says "I don't remember his name, but she was Scully, like that baseball announcer.") and John Doggett comes from Vin's partner Jerry Doggett.
- Hawkeye's name on MASH is Benjamin Franklin Pierce.
- In-story in The English Patient: the thief David Caravaggio. He lampshades this, mentioning Caravaggio's painting David with the Head of Goliath.
- Napoleon, from Animal Farm by George Orwell.
- Practically everyone from Brave New World (how that fits in a historyphobe society, you ask), such as Benito Hoover and Darwin Bonaparte.
- In the sci-fi novel The Green Futures Of Tycho by William Sleator, the eponymous main character's parents have named their children after Tycho Brahe, an astronomer; Tamara Karsavina, a ballet dancer; Ludwig van Beethoven, a composer and Leonardo da Vinci, an inventor and artist. They hoped the names would inspire them to aspire careers associated with them.
- The ReMastered in Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross seem to be named after notable far-right philosophers. Or people with similar viewpoints; one of them calls herself Blofeld!
- In Minority Report, the three oracles are named after Agatha, Arthur, and Dashiell, after the mystery novelists
- A Victorian novelist was sued and lost because one character in her work, who had a connection to theater, had the same name as a man who had some connection to the theater. Shortly thereafter the serial went on with all the names changed. To things like "George Bernard Shaw" and "H. G. Wells" -- all of whom were connected with the theater and had given permission as a protest against the ruling.
- Members of the Ghost Brigades in John Scalzi's Old Man's War universe are named after famous historical figures, mostly scientists (e.g. Jared Dirac and Jane Sagan).
- When Ender Wiggin's dad gets a name, it turns out that (1) Wiggin isn't his actual name, but rather Wieczorek, and (2) his full name is Jan Paweł Wieczorek, which became John Paul Wiggin when Anglicized, and yes, that's John Paul as in Pope John Paul II, who was canonized in this timeline. Something of a subversion in that he is Named After Somebody Famous both in-universe and out of universe (John Paul II was, of course, Polish).
- Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden
- In the Thursday Next series, people do this deliberately; it's a world where literature is Serious Business, so people name themselves after somebody famous, most often a classic English writer. After a court case where the entire jury was made up of Christopher Marlowes, a law was enacted to affix a number to the names of people who did this.
- In The Hunger Games, people from the Capitol are often named after Ancient Roman historical figures: Cinna, Caesar (Flickerman), Seneca (Crane), Coriolanus (Snow), Claudius (Templesmith), etc.
- "Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine."
- Members of Marilyn Manson used to be named after sex symbol + serial killer - the namesake singer himself is Marilyn Monroe + Charles Manson. The only other two still in the band are Ginger Fish and Twiggy Ramirez.
- Calvin and Hobbes, named after 16th-century theologian John Calvin and 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
- The newspaper comic strip Ink Pen parodied this, with a duo of a boy and his stuffed lion called "Luther and Locke" (after Martin Luther and John Locke).
- FoxTrot once had a parody strip coincidentally also named "Luther and Locke"
- Irregular Webcomic also made a parody/homage strip titled "Wittgenstein and Nietzche" (after Ludwig Wiggenstein and Friedrich Nietzsche)
- The newspaper comic strip Ink Pen parodied this, with a duo of a boy and his stuffed lion called "Luther and Locke" (after Martin Luther and John Locke).
- RUR features an in-universe case of this, with two robots named after Marius and Sulla. When one of the characters asks why they named a female robot after a Roman general, the manager simply says "We thought that Marius and Sulla were lovers."
- J. Pierpont Finch, protagonist of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
- In Leisure Suit Larry 7, all of the girls have names that reference female Hollywood stars, such as Drew Baringmore and Jamie Lee Coitus.
- In Chrono Trigger, the Edible Theme Naming of Soysauce, Vinegar, and Mayonnaise were turned into Ozzie (Osbourne, although he's Ozzy), Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Slash (of Guns N' Roses). This raised issues with the sequel, which introduced a new character named Slash, while containing the old ones as a Bonus Boss, so the new character was renamed Nikki (presumably after Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx).
- Also, the Gurus in the English version are named after the Three Wise Men.
- Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All has the name Laurence Curls, and people call him Moe. He is named after the Three Stooges.
- Every one of the eight maverick bosses in Mega Man X 5 have names derived from the rock band Guns N' Roses. Grizzly Slash (Slash), Axle The Red (Axl Rose), Squid Adler (Steven Adler), Dark Dizzy (Dizzy Reed) and the list goes on. (except The Skiver, which might be a reference to Michael "High in the Sky" Monroe, who recorded a song with GNR)
- From the original series, there's Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily, named after Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, respectively. The former might be questionable, but the latter does have some resemblance to his namesake (the Einstein Hair).
- Mega Man Zero's Big Bad Dr. Weil is named after Ray Kurzweil, an author on several books about transhumanism and technological singularity, things that Weil is a master of.
- Both Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy IX contained many a Shout-Out/To Shakespeare. The former had Rosencrantz and Romeo Guildenstern, while the latter had both characters and fictional characters named Puck, Cordelia, and King Leo/Lear.
- In Quest for Glory 2, characters of the thieving persuasion can break into a certain house at night where a man lives with his three sons, Kareem, Abdul, and Jabbar, respectively.
- How many real-life Zeldas can you think of? Word of God states that the eponymous princess is indeed named for Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Robin Williams named his daughter after the princess. Yo dawg, I heard you like naming people after other people...
- It came full circle when the developers of Breath of the wild name ancient tech researcher Robbie after Williams.
- Also the recurring enemies known as Poes, likely named after the famous Edgar Allan Poe. Another possible source of the name, however, is the Chinese philosophy of "hun" and "po", similar to yin and yang. "Hun" is the part of the soul that strives for heaven and is associated with life, and "po" is the part of the soul that stays with the corpse and is associated with death.
- F. Scott himself was named after Francis Scott Key, a distant relative and the lyricist for the national anthem of the US.
- In .hack GU Redemption, the AIDA-infected weapon wielded by Taihaku is called Maxwell. This is a reference to Maxwell's Demon theory. Now while the translators does a Good Bad Translation with a Did Not Do the Research as a cause, the game self-confirms the reference. How? By naming the identical-looking sword Haseo obtains after defeating Taihaku as Szilard (mistranslated as Silad), the person that solved (or at least offered an explanation to) Maxwell's Demon.
- Speaking of theoretical demons, the online game Ace Online threw a reference to Laplace's demon, by the item called "Soul of Laplace". The item is used to upgrade Legendary Weapons, which is in turn created by merging a weapon with Gematria Scripture, referring it as "being possessed by demonic souls".
- The Koopalings in Super Mario Bros. are named after real life musicians and other celebrities. As is possibly the boss Reznor in Super Mario World.
- Tony Delvecchio of Backyard Sports is named after wrestling announcer Tony Schiavone. Marky Dubois, from the same series, is named after Marky Ramone, a member of the Ramones. The developers were originally going to give Marky the full name, but then decided against it.
- Kingdom of Loathing has Linnell the Booze Giant, named for John Linnell of They Might Be Giants. There's also a town called Flangeburgh, a play on the name of John Flansburgh, another member of TMBG.
- In the fourth world of Mystic Ark, there are several NPCs scattered about that are named after famous inventors and musicians such as Edison, Einstein, Ludwig, and Picasso.
- Isaac (Asimov) (Arthur C.) Clarke from Dead Space - which was mocked by Zero Punctuation.
- Many characters in the Guilty Gear series are named after Western bands or musicians, including A. B. A. (ABBA), Axl Low (Axl Rose), Chipp Zanuff (Chip Z'nuff), Johnny (Johnny Winter), Ky Kiske (Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske), Slayer, Testament, Venom, and Zappa (Frank Zappa).
- The Zork games take this Up to Eleven (literally) with Lord Dimwit Flathead's eleven siblings: John D., T.J. "Stonewall", Johann Sebastian, J. Pierpont, Thomas Alva, Leonardo, Lucrezia, Ralph Waldo, John Paul, Frank Lloyd, and Babe.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni has Dlanor A. Knox, named after Ronald Knox, and Willard H. Wright, named after S. S. Van Dine. Both figures created rules that codified detective fiction.
- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri provides us with Provost Prokhor Zakharov, leader of the University of Planet faction, who invented the fusion drive that made the journey to Alpha Centauri possible. He seems to be named after Soviet nuclear physicist and peace/human rights/democracy activist Andrei Sakharov, who was famous for his brilliance (like Zakharov) and his involvement in politics (it's possible he would have become President of post-Soviet Russia had he not died in 1989). To put the icing on the cake, Arthur C. Clarke names the fusion engine in the Leonov in 2010...the Sakharov Drive. Clearly, the Firaxis team read its science fiction.
- In Donkey Kong Country 3, the twin bears of Razor Ridge are named Benny and Bjorn, after ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
- In Dragon Quest I, there are two characters named Howard and Nester, after the Nintendo Power comic characters.
- Police in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob are named after ice cream. The two feds are Ben and Jerry, and the two local cops are Baskin and Robbin.
- A rare one-person example in The Wotch: When Sonny Leo Harper got permanently ka-girled, he became Cher Lita Harper. This new identity also counts as a Punny Name, as Cher Lita is a cheerleader.
- The original two members of Penny's Girl Posse were named Sara and Michelle. There is no Gellar. Nick and Charisma are also named after Nicholas Brendon and Charisma Carpenter (aka Xander and Cordelia), and Stan and Jack after Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
- Ciem: The Human Centipede, and its sequels, mention rather explicitly that Dolly Malestrom was named after Dolly the Cloned Sheep. Given that it takes place in the 2020s, this reference actually makes sense. It places Dolly's birth some time between 1996 and 1998, making her just slightly older than Candi.
- There Aint No Rule that the "someone" can't be an animal, right?
- In Penny Arcade, Tycho Brahe is named after an astronomer.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, where the monster that lives in the Aqua Teen's attic is named "Willie Nelson".
- Each of the titular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are notably named after famous Renaissance artists.
- Mr. Oskar Kokoschka from Hey Arnold! is named after an Austrian expressionist painter.
- Amethyst van der Troll from Trollz appears to be named after Anneliese van der Pol (Chelsea Daniels on That's So Raven).
- In The Replacements, the main characters go to "George Washington Middle School"
- Of course, there was an episode where Todd uses an evil robot to threaten teachers into accepting any answer he gives them as correct. So, when he said the first president was George Stapler .... from that point on, every episode referred to it as George Stapler Middle School.
- One episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender has the heroes encounter a group of spacey, stoner-esque fantasy hippies with a leader named Chong.
- Aang's father figure Gyatso is named after Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama.
- In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra Aang's son Tenzin repeats the motif, while Korra's friend Mako is named after Mako, the prominent Japanese-American actor and voice artist who voiced the original series' Iroh until his death.
- Although Tenzin is a fairly common Tibetan name...
- Francesco Bernoulli, the Italian racecar from Cars 2, is actually named after Dutch/Swiss mathmetician Daniel Bernoulli, who actually came up with the law of conservation of fluid dynamics.
- Though now more or less abandoned, the naming system of the US Navy had destroyers named after naval heroes. Still in use is the trend of naming aircraft carriers after former presidents: most recently USS George HW Bush (which is rather fitting, as Bush had been a naval Ace Pilot during World War II). The new class of supercarriers currently under construction is to be called the Gerald R. Ford class, as work on the ship was started shortly after his death.
- Uniquely, Jimmy Carter asked if, rather than an aircraft carrier, he could have a nuclear submarine, as he had been trained as a nuclear engineer but left the Navy a year before USS Nautilus came online. Sure enough, USS Jimmy Carter is a Seawolf-class nuclear attack sub, launched in 2005.
- There's quite a few porn stars who do this for Porn Names - usually a name that's similar, rather than identical (such as Dru Berrymore), although there is one young lady out there performing in hardcore under the stage name of Cindy Crawford.
- Apparently the young lady's birth name is Cynthia Crawford, so fair use?
- Chris Columbus
- US Senator John Little McClellan, named by his parents after a former governor named John Little.
- Winfield Scott (1786-1866) served as an officer in the United States Army from 1806 through 1861, as a general from 1814 until his retirement in 1861 at the rank of a Major General. "The Grand Old Man of the Army" played a prominent role in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and various Indian campaigns, and designed the basic strategy which the Union used in the Civil War. Two other individuals born during Scott's tenure as a general officer were named after him, and also rose to command rank in the armed forces: Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, who served in the Army of the Potomac in the Civil War (And served under the original General Winfield Scott as a newly minted Lieutenant in the Mexican-American War), and Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, who commanded the U.S. squadron at Santiago in the Spanish-American War.
- Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was named for a famous doctor of his time, Naguib Pasha Mahfouz.
- David Tennant's real name is David McDonald, but uses the last name Tennant after Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant professionally because there was another David McDonald in the Actors Guild.
- Many places, people and monuments in real life are named after famous people, making this...
- Very popular in space exploration. Features on other planets, such as impact craters, are frequently named after famous people, usually from the sciences or arts.
- Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos is named after an eponymous singer from that country.
- Albert Brooks's real name is Albert Einstein. His parents thought it was funny.
- Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, named after the author of The Star-Spangled Banner.
- Siegfried Sassoon owes his German first name to his mother's love for Wagner's operas.
- A Romanian couple wanted to name their son Osama Bin Laden for this specific purpose (it makes sense if you know that Romania was openly rooting for the Taliban). They eventually settled on Stefan (Steve), after the legendary Moldavian lord Stephen III.
- In 2010, the most popular names for babies born in the U.S. were Jacob and Isabella. Both names had been decently popular beforehand; Jacob, in fact, is undergoing a slight lull in popularity. Isabella, however, only made the top five in 2006, right after a certain uber-popular teen vampire book series hit the shelves. One cannot help but wonder if fans are letting their preferred couple influence their Theme Naming just a tad...
- Similarly, a number of too-obsessed Potters have named their sons Harry.
- American socialite, model and entertainer Brooke Shields was named after another socialite, Brooke Astor (née Roberta Brooke Russell).
- For any non-UK tropers who haven't worked it out from the Pot Holes, these were all serial killers.