The Loop (TV)
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The opposite of Names to Run Away From Really Fast, this is for clearly heroic sounding names. It seems to be played straight less frequently than the evil version.
Examples of Names to Trust Immediately include:
- Subverted on Lost. One of the bad guys is named Tom Friendly.
- Tales of Symphonia has Regal Bryant, both of whose names mean 'noble'. He's a double subversion, since he's an enemy the first couple times you meet him, but it wasn't really by his own choice, and he soon winds up joining the party and being one of the nicest people around.
- Very common in Renaissance and Restoration drama which often gave meaningful names to characters. For instance, the hero of The Plain Dealer is named Manly, and The Recruiting Officer has a Worthy as protagonist.
- Peter Perfect from Wacky Races is the opposite number of Dick Dastardly.
- When there's a Malvolio running around it's usually a safe bet that the local Benvolio is a nicer person.
- Tod Friendly in Times Arrow. Played straight as he is a great guy in his old age, then subverted as he is revealed to have been a concentration camp doctor. Also, his real last name is Unverdorben: "unspoilt" in German. (While we're at it, "Tod" -- pronounced with a long o -- just happens to be the German word for "death". Make of that what you will.)
- A resistance leader in Demolition Man is Edgar Friendly.
- Real Life example: Fred Friendly, President of CBS News during the 60s(during which time he and Edward R. Murrow produced a series of reports that are credited for helping bring down Joe McCarthy), later one of the founders of what would become Public Television. Generally regarded as a symbol of journalistic integrity.
- Also common in Victorian melodrama and subject to much parody. Several of the character in the Gilbert and Sullivan work Ruddigore count as parodies- the heroine is Rosa Maybudd, and the male characters are Robin Oakapple and his servant Adam Goodheart, and Richard Dauntless- the first two male characters lead to a subversion as Robin is actually the stereotypically evilly named Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd from a family of Dastardly Whiplash types and an earlier draft had Adam changing his name to Gideon Crawle to match his master's forced Face Heel Turn.
- Any character named 'Shepherd'. Plenty of them in the military, for some reason. May be a nod to 'The Good Shepherd'.
- Military Shepherds:
- Command and Conquer: General Sheppard.
- Half Life: Opposing Force: Corporal Shepherd
- Mass Effect: Commander Shepard (played straight with Paragon Shepard, who tries to solve disputes with diplomacy and uses violence as a last resort; subverted with Renegade Shepard, who prefers to solve disputes with violence and uses diplomacy as a last resort. Both are more or less MagneticHeroes to go along with the name regardless.)
- Modern Warfare: General Shepherd although that's a subversion, since he betrays you.
- Stargate Atlantis: Colonel Shepherd
- In part of his back-story in the pages of X-Men, Professor Xavier served as a soldier during The Korean War. In one story, it was revealed that he was known among his fellow soldiers as "The Good Shepherd", because he went to great lengths to bring the men under his command safely home.
- Non-military Shepherds:
- Military Shepherds:
- Pokémon's Nurse Joy.
- On Dharma and Greg, Dharma once ran for public office against a woman named Karen Love.
- The Joy was the The Boss's old special forces name in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater. She is a hero of the United States and Naked Snake's mentor of 10 years. Subverted because she defects to the enemy's side shortly after the game begins. Double subverted because she's a double agent and has to sacrifice herself when things don't go as planned for the U.S.
- The case which made inter-racial marriage legal across all of the United States? Loving v. Virginia
- "Mother Alice" of Avernum 5. Alice is a good name, "Mother" is a good association. However this is actually more Names to Run Away From Really Fast: her name is M.Alice, or Malice, which is never a good thing.
- Big Brother in 1984 uses this for manipulative purposes.
- The Mother in Dragon Age Origins is a subversion.
- A more modern example is Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe novels - the archetypal good guy who always wins.
- Optimus Prime of Transformers.
- In the children's book The Fire Cat, Pickles is looked after by a cat loving woman named Mrs. Goodenkind.
- The real name of Sky High in Tiger and Bunny is Keith Goodman.
- Miss Ima Goodlady from The Powerpuff Girls. Subverted in that she's actually Sedusa in disguise.
- Dick Tracy's love interest is Tess Trueheart.
- Played absolutely straight in the In Death series with NYPSD Officer Troy Trueheart.
- Final Fantasy VIII's female protagonist is named Rinoa Heartilly, and indeed she is a friendly and trustworthy character. As long as she isn't possessed by the main antagonist, that is.
- Also, uh, Squall Leonhart. The animal motif makes the connotation more one of courage than anything else, but the association remains a positive one.
- Tenderheart Bear from the Care Bears.
- Heart Aino from Arcana Heart.
- Subverted with the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. "Off with His Head"
- Lionheart in Warrior Cats is a straight example. He's a pure hero, right down to the end. Fireheart as well.
- Ser Arys Oakheart in A Song of Ice and Fire. A good guy, if easily manipulated and not too bright.
- Angel, though before he got his soul, it was a subversion, as he was Angelus (Latin for angel), the demon with the angelic face.
- There are two notable examples in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, though they are both subversions: Angel Clare and Mercy Chant are both less forgiving than their names might suggest. Angel improves eventually.
- As Names to Run Away From Really Fast pointed out, "Angel" is one of the few "tough" feminine names.
- Athena and her Roman counterpart Minerva are two more examples of "tough" feminine names. Both are generally on the side of good.
- Minerva McGonagall of Harry Potter.
- And another pair of "tough" feminine names: Artemis and Diana.
- Diana of Themiscyra, better known as Wonder Woman
- From Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: "The name's Phoebus. It means Sun God."
- Although he's far less than trustworthy in the original novel.
- Angel Martin of The Rockford Files is notably less than angelic. Instead he is a slimy, greedy, dishonest Dirty Coward.
- Subverted with Jenna Angel from Digital Devil Saga.
- Princess Celestia.
- The Doctor from Doctor Who. Generally plays this straight, but many in universe hears this name and get an immediate Oh Crap reaction. This includes villains and non villains.
The Doctor: Trust me, I'm the Doctor.
- Lampshaded in "A Good Man Goes to War"; toward the end, River Song revealed that many planets(including possibly Earth) have taken the word 'Doctor' into their language as a word for 'healer' or 'learned person', because of The Doctor's influence. But many other planets use the word 'Doctor' to mean 'warrior', for much the same reason.
- Chaplain is generally regarded well by his colleagues (he's a cop, but got his sobriquet due to his religious beliefs, though is seen as naive by the same token.
- Dudley Do-Right is a notable parody.
Heroes (as in, named after other famous heroes)
- Hiro in Heroes
- Snow Crash has Hiro Protagonist. It's his hacker handle.
- The video game Mini Ninjas also features a Hiro.
- Lunar Eternal Blue.
- In the Whateley Universe, Elizabeth Carson's first superhero name was Miss Champion, when she was one of two teen sidekicks to Champion. Her second superhero name was Lady Champion. On the other hand, it also gets subverted: Captain Courage is mainly known for the huge number of paternity suits and failures to pay child support.
- Death Note's Light Yagami. Although Light Is Not Good applies in a almost literal sense, this is ambiguous. His personal name is Light (written with the character for 'moon'), but Yagami means 'God of Night'. Certainly a name to run away from.
- It's also a possible allusion to Christian belief of the angel Lucifer (whose name means "bearer of light") and whose pride made him try and take the place of God. Describes Light rather well, if you ask me. It also doesn't help that his given name is written with four strokes.
- Averted in Saints Row 2, where the badass Voodoo Priest Lieutenant of the Sons of Samedi is "Mr. Sunshine".
- Arguably a fringe case between this and Fluffy the Terrible, but regardless, being a scary, murderous lunatic with an inhumanly high pain tolerance isn't very conducive to being an effective drug-dealer, given Mr. Sunshine's never shown doing regular business, and almost always shown scaring/murdering someone. Admittedly, so's the Boss...
- The main character's daughter Glory Goldie Sunnycastle in The Emperor Of Portugallia. First played straight as the young Glory Goldie is a Friend to All Living Things, then subverted as she leaves for the city and becomes a prostitute.
- Dr. Thomas Light from the Mega Man. Of course, this is only in the North American versions. In the original Japanese games, his name is Dr. Right...which is still a much nicer name than, say, "Dr. Wrong". Of course, the L/R thing makes it hard to know what they truly mean his name to be. Either way, he's a nice guy.
- Hikari Yagami of Digimon Adventure. Oh so very much a Meaningful Name, almost to ridiculous extremes. Even her dub name counts.
- Thud: The coming leader of the trolls, "Mr. Shine, him diamond!"
- Subverted in Young Justice by "The Light."
- In the X Wing Series, the two Alderaanian war frigates that survived when Alderaan adopted pacifism, and were still hanging around the system after the planet was destroyed, were named Another Chance and Valiant. Another Chance was found some time before the books, and Valiant came up out of the Graveyard to dramatically save the Rogues because one of them had taken Another Chance's IFF tag.
- Robin Hobb plays with this interestingly in her FitzChivalry series (the Farseer trilogy): all of the princes are given names like this as part of magic which is supposed to install a corresponding personality in them. It doesn't work perfectly though- the hero is the illegitimate son of Chivalry, demonstrating an ironic application of his name, and Regal is The Evil Prince. Chivalry was otherwise highly regarded, however, and Verity plays this trope absolutely straight.
- Codex Alera 's Fidelias, whose case is complicated and may be a subversion. He knows the political climate of his country is nearing civil war and feels that the king isn't doing enough to prevent this. So he betrays the king out of loyalty to the kingdom.
- Older Than Steam: Something similar to Codex Alera happened with Jean-Baptiste Poquelin alias Moliere's play Tartuffe (1664) and the disloyal bailiff Monsieur Loyal.
- Parodied in Anything Goes, where Reno's four angels are named Purity, Chastity, Charity, and Virtue. They are all sleeping with the crew of the ship.
- Temperance Brennan in Bones. Partially subverted in that she is not an easy person to get along with.
- Futurama: "Hugh Mann? Now that's a name I can trust."
- Mechquest also used Hugh Munn as the name of one of the students in Advanced Mecha Theory.
- General Protection Fault: Trudy Trueheart. And how.
- Parodied in Discworld with Adora Belle Dearheart, who is in fact a snarky, badass, chain-smoking Broken Bird. (And what else could she be with a name like that?)
- She was nicknamed Killer by her brother.
- Also parodied by the Carter family of Lancre, whose parents didn't quite get how this was supposed to work. All of the girls ended up named after virtues: Hope, Prudence, Chastity, and Charity. The boys, on the other hand, were all named after vices: Anger, Jealousy, Covetousness, and Bestiality. Ironically, all the kids ended up as inversions of their name, so Chastity for example ended up as a "seamstress" in Ankh-Morpork, while Bestiality Carter was always very kind to animals. Covetousness Carter is described as "generous to a fault."
- Parodying this trope and Charles Dickens' use of it, the villain of Bleak Expectations is named Mr Gently Benevolent. The cast also includes love interests Ripley Fecund and Sweetly Delightful.
Compound names (exhibit two or more of the above)
- Played painfully straight in the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum comics, where the perfect main characters are named Ace Virtueson and Christi Lovejoy. The theme naming extends through the whole cast of character, for example, Pastor Alltruth. Alternate Character Interpretation was popular - Christi Lovejoy is certainly a multi-purpose name.
- Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter, who is indeed trustworthy, though rather unusual in her view of the world.
- Trevor Goodchild, the self-appointed ruler with a varying morality, from Aeon Flux.
- The Lovejoy family from The Simpsons is a clear parody/pastiche of this. Reverend Lovejoy is a nice guy mostly, but he's also prone to the same Jerkass behavior as the rest of the town and is occasionally too obsessed with the church (though a few episodes show him sympathetically). His wife is the leader of the town's out-of-touch Moral Guardians who often cry "Think of the Children!" Their daughter is manipulative and even downright cruel.
- Bayonetta features enemy angels, with a variety of nice-sounding names like "Beloved," "Dear & Decorations," "Cheer," "Fortitude," and so on and so forth; the major bosses of the game are even named after cardinal virtues.
- Many of the characters in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic have a Meaningful Name that doubles as this. Who wouldn't happily leave their kids with a teacher named "Cheerilee", expect someone named "Fluttershy" to be a sweetheart, or imagine good things about a "Princess Celestia".
- Ace Attorney:
- Who wouldn't trust a guy named Apollo Justice?
- Or Phoenix Wright? Because he's always right!
- Granny Goodness
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