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"Your mom and I named you after an incredibly brave woman, really not all that much older than you. Your name is Molly."
Toby Ziegler, The West Wing

If you need a name for your new baby, ask yourself, "Have any of my loved ones died?" If so, look no further: Renew, reuse, recycle!

The concept of naming the next generation to honour the originals has a number of enticing benefits for writers. Firstly, it saves them the effort of thinking up a whole new name. Secondly, it pays lip service to dead characters, and thus has the valuable effect not only of creating a walking plot reminder but of making audiences go, "Awwwwww! He remembered his dead [insert role here]!"

It can be done well, especially if the background culture is one in which it's a common practice (Victorian Britain, for example). In another case of Truth in Television, some people did and still do simply have a custom of naming new children after beloved deceased friends or relatives. If that context isn't there, though, it runs the high risk of coming off as corny. Especially if there's more than one namesake running around, and they had just the right number of kids...

For kids who are just like their parents, but not necessarily named the same, see Generation Xerox. A Bittersweet Ending may manifest this in Babies Ever After.

Often happens after Someone to Remember Him By. The child may inquire about the dead person as in Tell Me About My Father.

Compare Birth-Death Juxtaposition, We Named the Monkey "Jack".

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples of Dead Guy, Junior include:

Anime and Manga

  • Goku named his son, Gohan, after his adoptive grandfather in DragonBall Z. His wife and father-in-law definitely approved, as Son Gohan Sr. and Gyuumaou were childhood friends. Anime-only fans also tend to point out that Kuririn named his daughter, Marron, after his Filler ex-girlfriend, Maron, but it's slightly more likely that the anime writers and Akira Toriyama simply thought of the same pun: the "kuri" in "Kuririn" means "chestnut," which "marron" is French for.
    • Piccolo also happens to be named after his dead father, but that's probably because he's his father's Reincarnation.
    • We can't forget Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr., the great great great great grandchildren of Goku and Vegeta, respectively.
  • Reinforce Zwei of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, at the request of the original shortly before her Heroic Sacrifice.

 Reinforce: When I vanish, I will change into a small powerless fragment of my current self. If it's all right with you, do not give my name to that small fragment, but to the new container that will hold your magic in the future.

  • In Nana, Takumi and Nana name their son Ren after Takumi's bandmate Ren Honjou, who was killed in a car accident, although they had toyed with the idea before he died.
  • A strange case of this in the end of the Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne manga: Marron names her daughter, who turns out to have inherited Angel Fin Fish's soul, "Natsuki". Natsuki was the name of Fin's previous human incarnation.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes: Reinhard names his son "Alexander Siegfried." Apparently he had a hard time reconciling his desire to honor his dead best friend with his hatred of Kircheis' first name....
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The name of every main character of all 8 arcs can be read as JoJo. For the first 7 arcs, it was a family line. Arc 8 however...
  • Gundam Wing pulls a variation on this in the backstory of one of its characters. When a street urchin named Solo dies, his best friend gives himself the name Duo to show that even in death, they'd always be a team.
  • In Mai-HiME, Duran is the name of Natsuki's dog, who was killed in the same car accident as her mother. Not only does it eventually become the name of her Child, but her father names his motorcycle after Duran as a "parody".

Comic Books

  • In Tom Strong, Tom's mother named him after Tomas, the sailor who took them to the island and died trying to save them.
  • Spider-Girl has May "Mayday" Parker, an alternate future daughter of Spider-Man, named for her deceased great aunt. They later have a second child, who they name Ben—though it's not clear whether he's named after Peter's Uncle Ben, or his 'brother through cloning,' who also went by Ben, and died in a Heroic Sacrifice (possibly both).
  • It doesn't stand out because they both go by nicknames, but Bartholomew Allen - aka Impulse/Kid Flash - was named after his grandfather, the second Flash.
    • That name, however, is essentially the only thing they share (apart from the whole superhero thing, obviously); Bart is a complete 180° of Barry in every other area.
  • In stories set in the alternate future of Kingdom Come, several of the Titans do this; Tempest's daughter is named after his former lover, Nightwing's daughter after his mother, and Flash's twins after his aunt and uncle. (In the main DCU, Flash's daughter is still named Iris, but Flash's son is named after the Golden-Age Flash, although its Jai not Jay, presumably because there was already a Dead Guy Junior for Barry. Funnily enough, neither Jay nor Barry is dead at the moment.)
  • Non-human example in Cerebus the Aardvark. Cerebus becomes a shepherd and has apparently named one of the sheep Elrod, who had been more-or-less killed almost 100 issues prior.
  • During the Our Worlds At War Crisis Crossover General Sam Lane, father of Lois and Lucy, was killed by aliens. Shortly afterwards, Lucy had a son, who was named Sam. Of course, the younger Sam hasn't been mentioned since the last Retcon, and the elder turned out to be just hiding, but it was an example for a while.
  • Siryn names her baby Sean after she finally accepts her father's death, but she doesn't get to keep the baby for long.
  • In one Superman/Batman story set not long after Jason Todd's death, Bruce Wayne visited Clark Kent in Smallville on the anniversary of the supposed death of a man they failed to save. During the visit, a small crisis erupts when a woman suddenly goes into labor in her home while the doctor who was presiding over the birth suddenly had a heart attack. Superman helps the mother give birth while Batman provides emergency treatment for the doctor. On the next day when Bruce has breakfast with the Kents Clark mentions off-hand that he suggested the name "Jason" for the newborn boy.
  • In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Charles Xavier dies in Magneto's arms before they have time to become enemies, and Magneto names his son after Charles.

Fan Fiction

  • Common in fan fiction. Expect plenty of kids named Haku in Naruto fics, and a Sirius or two in Harry Potter. Of course, JKR had to go and one-up everyone with aforementioned Potter kids.
    • As a subtrope of that, thanfiction, mastermind behind the DAYDverse, is especially prone to this. IIRC, there are only three kids who aren't named after dead people, and two were adopted from another country. Of course, there are a lot of names to choose from...
  • Averted in The Second Try, as the parents-to-be were afraid their child would end up unintentionally having to live up to and be similar to the name given.
  • It's almost canon for the firstborn daughter of Katara to be named Kya, after her mother. Slightly less common but still popular are Zuko's daughter Ursa and Sokka's daughter Yue. A common name for Aang's son is Gyatso.
  • It appears that it's expected that if Ichigo and Rukia marry, they'll have a son with his mother's color scheme, his father's everything else, and the name Kaien.
    • Don't forget that they'll have a Hisana if it's a girl.
      • Or a Masaki.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: If Roy and Riza have a baby boy, he'll be named after Maes.
  • Whenever Shikamaru has a kid in fanfics, it's pretty expected that the brat'll be named after Asuma in some way. And then the question of who the brat's mother is comes up. And then...well, duck and cover, or ready your canon.
    • Naruto himself is not spared this fate; half the time or more his kids would be called either Minato or Kushina - and Neji would call his son Hizashi.
    • White Rain has Itachi van Alstyne, the son of the long-since departed Uchiha Itachi arriving in Konoha.
  • In Corpse Bride, Victor and Victoria inevitably end up calling their first-born daughter Emily. Although that's an improvement compared to the author going with the 'V' theme and naming the children something like Vincent/Valerie.
  • In Fable fanfic, if the author feels the need to give the Princess from the third game a name, chances are they'll have her named after her dead auntie Rose.
  • Although the closing credits of Pirates Of The Carribean give the name of Elizabeth's son as Will (already this trope, of course), a striking number of fanfic writers ignore this in favour of the name James. (Possibly because Norrington is... deader, probably. Or just because of the One Steve Limit.)



  • Miss Quentin in The Sound and The Fury, whose conception was the event which drove her uncle Quentin Compson to suicide.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows features such winners as the Potter siblings, James Sirius, Lily Luna (at least she didn't die) and Albus Severus (that's a mouthful, but at least he goes by Al), as well as the orphaned son of Lupin and Tonks, whose name is Ted after Tonks' (dead) father. Supplementary information from Rowling says George even named his son after Fred (naming your son after your own dead twin seems rather awkward...but then, not more awkward than marrying said dead twin's girlfriend). Possibly Subverted with Ron and Hermione's children, who are named Rose and Hugo, with no "Rose" or "Hugo" ever mentioned on either the Weasley or Granger side.
    • A generation earlier, Fred and George are probably an initial-reference to Molly's deceased twin brothers, Fabian and Gideon.
    • Also, earlier in the series, we learn that Lord Voldemort's real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle—Tom for his father, Marvolo for his maternal grandfather. Granted, the father was still alive when he was born. And we only know that Marvolo died before his son was released from jail. He might have still been alive when Tom was born, meaning that Tom's adherence to the trope is unsure.
  • In the Dune series, Paul Atreides names his first son Leto after his martyred father. After the younger Leto is similarly martyred, Paul also names his second son Leto, after the firstborn. His fate was somewhat less sucky. Somewhat.
    • He becomes God-Emperor and extends his lifespan to three and a half millennia. In the Crapsack World of the Dune universe, that comes as close to positive outcome as is likely.
      • Except for how crappy the power of prescience ends up being, which is well-documented by quotes from both Paul and Leto II.
  • At the end of Dracula, it is revealed that Jonathan and Mina named their son with the first names of the entire group. Whether or not this is cause for justifiable parricide is left as an exercise for the reader. (But they called him Quincy, after the one who died.)
    • In Fred Saberhagen's The Holmes-Dracula File, young Quincy also has a twin sister, named for Mina's friend Lucy. Which is both this trope, and a hint that Lucy Harker was born with some vampiric traits, as Lucy Westenra had been turned by the Count.
  • David Weber's Empire From the Ashes trilogy contains at least six kids all named after their parents' loved ones, in some cases two of them. (Admittedly not all the loved ones are dead yet, but a number of them are. One character even gets two namesakes, one before his death and one after.)
    • Another Weber example: After Honor Harrington's "death" a positive embarrassment of people and things are named for her, including what was at least on its commissioning date the galaxy's most powerful warship. (Reports of her death, naturally, were greatly exaggerated; she was enormously embarrassed by all the namesakes when she returned.) Of course, at least one child (and the local equivalent of a royal princess, at that) was named after her BEFORE the event...
    • Honor's children and siblings are all named after various over characters although some of those characters are alive at the time of the naming (although being a military Sci-Fi series not all of them remain that way).
    • An additional non-human example in the series is the RMN's Roll of Honor. Ships that participate in particularly heroic actions have their names added to the Roll of Honor and those names are kept assigned to a new ship whenever the previous ship using it is destroyed or retired.
  • Dragonlance is positively lousy with these, although most are variations on the theme: Tanis and Laurana name their son Gilthas after his unfortunate uncle Gilthanas. Caramon and Tika name two of their sons Tanin and Sturm, after Tanis Half-Elven and their Sturm Brightlade, and one of their daughters Laura after Tanis's wife Laurana (although neither Tanis nor Laurana was dead yet). Their third son, on the other hand, is named Palin after the god Paladine(possibly an early attempt to prevent him from turning out like Raistlin did).
  • Similarly, Tamora Pierce's Tortall books are edging into their third generation. The juniors so far include Thom, Alan, Alianne (a portmanteau of "Alanna" and "Lianne" according to Word of God), Roald (a royal name, so justified), Kalasin, Liam, Lianne, and potentially Mequen. The above Alianne finally broke the trend, naming her half-crow triplets after variations of the names of three dead compatriots, incidentally three generations of the same family]]. Actually, the portmanteau namesakes are getting pretty common in and of themselves.
  • At the very end of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Kit, just before dying, instructs the Baudelaire children to name her newborn daughter after their mother and raise her. The infant's name? Beatrice.
    • This is stated to be a tradition of the group, and one of the female characters in the series would have been named Lemony if she'd been born a man (at the time, Beatrice Baudelaire thought he was dead).
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Among the Barrayaran aristocracy, the first son receives the first names of his maternal and paternal grandfathers, and the second son receives their middle names, which can sometimes lead to examples of this trope—though, during the series, Barrayar is politically stable and has good enough medicine that most people seem to live to meet their grandchildren, so it usually doesn't. Miles Vorkosigan himself (named exclusively for his maternal grandfather as his paternal grandfather rejects him) is one of the few real examples that come out of the convention.
    • Elena Bothari(-Jesek) is an apparent example, except that her mother turns out to be alive after all.
    • Olivia and Kareen Koudelka are genuine examples, both named after dead royalty. (As for their two sisters, Delia is presumably named after Cordelia Vorkosigan, who's not dead, and it's unclear who if anyone Martya might be named after.)
    • In the latest novel, Cryoburn, there's Taura Vorkosigan.
  • In Redwall, Matthias decides to name his son after himself and two of his dead best friends, Methuselah and Mortimer, coming up with "Mattimeo" as a result.
  • Watership Down: one of Fiver's children is named Threar, presumably in honor of the destroyed Sandleford Warren's chief rabbit, the Threarah (Lord Threar).
  • Little Women: Amy's and Laurie's daughter is named Elizabeth—who goes by Bess in the sequels—after the Dead Little Sister. The rest of the surviving March sisters' children are all named after still-living relatives.
  • In Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton foresees that Charles and Lucy Darnay will have a son whom they will name for him.
  • Anakin Solo and Ben Skywalker from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The former was killed off because Viewers are Morons and can't handle two (not even contemporaneous) characters having the same name. Although he would have been killed off anyway if his Dead Guy Junior fate had happened to him...
  • Julie's little brother Amaroq in Julie, the sequel to Julie of the Wolves.
  • In Remnants, Jobs named his second daughter after Tate, who died when she crashed the alien super ship so that it would become The Source and be ready for the 'regreening' of Earth.
  • In Robin McKinley's Beauty, Beauty's niece is named Mercy, after their dead sister.
  • In George MacDonald's The Princess and The Goblin, Irene learns she was named for her (still living) great-great-grandmother.

 "My name is Irene."

"That's my name!" cried the princess.

"I know that. I let you have mine. I haven't got your name. You've got mine."

"How can that be?" asked the princess, bewildered. "I've always had my name."

"Your papa, the king, asked me if I had any objection to your having it; and, of course, I hadn't. I let you have it with pleasure."

"It was very kind of you to give me your name--and such a pretty one," said the princess.

"Oh, not so very kind!" said the old lady. "A name is one of those things one can give away and keep all the same."

  • In the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, it can be seen that Sam named his firstborn son Frodo and a later son Bilbo (although they are technically probably not dead yet, just gone away). His other children are also named after his living friends and family, but still.
    • Roughly forty-two centuries earlier, Ëonwë had warned Tar-Atanamir that mortals in Valinor "would wither the sooner, as a moth in a light that is too steady."
    • Given the age (and rate-of-aging) difference, it's possible that little Faramir Took is an example too.
  • In Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow trilogy, Buck "Book 2" Riley Jnr. is named after his father, and is given the same callsign.
  • One of the main themes of Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" wherein the names of the Buendia family are repeated from generation to generation, and are additionally linked with certain character traits, except when there is a mix-up at birth. In fact, in no less than 7 generations, in the family there is a grand total of two boys' names used.
  • David Lurie of In the Beginning is one, being the product of a levirate marriage.
  • Raptor Red has one in spirit, even though nobody exactly has names. Raptor Red adopts her niece after her sister is killed, and the family resemblance is so strong she confuses the two.
  • Stephen King's Rose Madder has Pamela Steiner (and on top of that, she was almost Pamela Anna; her actual middle name is Gertrude, who is a still-living character).
  • Prynn Tenmei, in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch series, is named after her father's former Starfleet Intelligence partner who was killed in a transporter accident; T'Prynn from the Star Trek: Vanguard novels.
  • In the Dale Brown books, Patrick and Wendy McLanahan's son Bradley is named after their late mentor Brad Elliott.
  • In the Ian Banks book The Crow Road, central character Prentice's brother names his newborn son Kenneth Rory Prentice Mchoan. Prentice (half) jokingly points out his concern that he's the only one of the baby's namesakes who isn't dead...
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude uses this. Can involve Generation Xerox, and is used as component of the cyclical nature of the book. You could probably count the number of Buendias that aren't named after another (dead) relative with two hands.
  • Warrior Cats has one of Sorreltail's litter. The camp is attacked by badgers, which are trying to get into the nursery as she is kitting. Cinderpelt dies protecting her and the kits. When telling Leafpool her picks for names, a gray kit[1] is named in her honor as Cinderkit. However it turns out she IS Cinderpelt reincarnated as her niece so she could Set Right What Once Went Wrong in her life and be a warrior.
    • Another example occurs in the next generation. Out of that same litter that included Cinderkit, Molekit died. Cinderkit and Molekit's littermate Poppyfrost ends up naming her son after her dead brother.
  • In the Tennis Shoes Adventure series, Jim names his son after two very brave, dead warriors- Gidgiddonihah Teancum. Ouch!( the former being a close friend who died saving Jim's older son's life. the book series is all about time travel though, so Gid gets better. Teancum...not so much.)
  • In the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne and Gilbert name their children after friends and family. Their friends Leslie and Owen Ford do the same with their two children.
    • Only one of Anne and Gilbert's seven children wasn't a namesake; their first child, Joyce ("Joy") was not, though she was born prematurely and died shortly after birth.
  • Claudia from A Thread of Grace names her child after her recently dead father Alberto. The baby dies two days later--it was born premature.
  • Defied in Malevil. Angès is forbidden to name her son Emmanuel as everyone knows he is likely the father and doesn't want any additional strife among the survivors.
  • In The Belgariad sequel series, Garion names his firstborn son after his dead father, and his firstborn daughter after his ultimate grandmother, dead for a few thousand years.
  • Among numerous other examples in A Song of Ice and Fire, Daenerys names her three dragons after her dead brothers and husband.
    • Cersei Lannister from the same series Lampshades this trope when she runs into two women on the same morning, both looking to name their soon-to-be-born sons after her late father Tywin:

  Another one? Lickspittles like you will drown the realm in Tywins.

    • The series is full of these. Ned Stark names his sons Bran and Rickon, after his brother Brandon and his father Rickard. Then there's his other two sons Jon and Robb, who're named after living friends Jon Arryn and Robert. Jon Arryn names his son after Robert as well. Dany names her unborn son Rhaego after dead brother Rhaegar.
  • Artemis Fowl contains a literal example of this, combined with an almost literal example of We Named the Monkey "Jack": The main characters name a lemur JayJay, short for Julius Junior.
  • Several examples in the works of V. C. Andrews:
    • Audrina Adare is supposedly named after an elder sister who died. It turns out Audrina's family is lying to her; the "First Audrina" never existed.
    • In the Landry series, Ruby names her twin sons Pierre and Jean, after her late father and his twin brother.
    • Willow DeBeers's daughter is named Hannah after Willow's mother Grace (since the name Hannah means "grace")
    • Jory Marquet's name is short for Julian Cory, after his dead father and uncle respectively. At the end of the series, when his wife is due to give birth, he promises to name the baby either Catherine after his mother (who dies shortly afterwards), or Christopher after his late uncle/stepfather.
    • Dawn Cutler was named Eugenia at birth, after a sister of her step-grandmother's.
    • The Casteel series has Luke Junior (named after his grandfather) and Annie Stonewall (named after the first Luke's mother; step-grandmother to Annie's mother Heaven.) Annie's name is lampshaded as Logan and Tony point out that this is a nickname, and try to suggest that Heaven name her Anne instead.
    • Celeste and her daughter "Baby Celeste" in the Gemini series, though the elder Celeste does not die but is sent to a mental institution.
  • In Time Scout, Kit's ex-girlfriend named his unknown daughter Kitty.
  • In The Stand, Frannie names her baby Peter after her father, who died during the plague. (in the film, it's a girl and she names her Abigail, after Mother Abigail.)
  • Varencienne names her children for the dead in Chronicles of Magravandias. Her first son is named Valraven, the traditional name of Palindrake heirs in honor of Valraven I who fell to the Magravandians. Her daughter Ellony is named for her husband's first wife. Her second son Leonid is named for her father.

Live Action TV

  • In the miniseries finale of Farscape, Crichton and Aeryn name their son "D'Argo Sun-Crichton". That child would be beaten mercilessly when he goes to space-school, if his mom wasn't scary. Then again, it's in space. With "Zhaan's", "Chiana's", "Joolushku's" and "Bialar's" around every turn, it might not be that weird a name. After all, Aeryn's first suggestion was so guttural not even the closed captioning tried to spell it. But she was joking then. Maybe.
    • Names which aren't mocked there include "Utu Noranti Pralatong" and "Sikozu Svala Shanti Sugaysi Shanu". I think the kid'll be just fine.
      • As scary as his mom is, his dad can destroy the entire freaking universe. No, I don't think he's going to have to worry about bullies at all, thank you very much.
        • What about Talyn? Baby spaceship named after Aeryn's dad.
  • The West Wing: Toby's daughter is named after a secret service agent killed during the kidnapping of the President's daughter. Unusually for this trope, Toby had twins, but only one person died. Unfortunate for the boy, though, as he got named Huck. Yes, it's short for Huckleberry.
    • Toby's keen to point out, however, that it was Andrea, his not-wife, who was responsible for naming Huck.
    • Technically Huck is also named after someone who is dead, Andrea's grandfather.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode where Dr. Janet Fraiser dies, the child of the soldier she died saving is named after her.
  • In season three of Heroes we learn that Sylar names his future son Noah.
    • Although that timeline probably was averted by later events.
  • A fifth-season episode of Lost reveals that Desmond and Penny's son is named after Charlie, who died at the end of season three.
    • Subverted in that said son also shares a name with Penny's father, Charles Widmore, who is shaping up to be a possible Big Bad for the series.
      • In dialogue that ended up being cut from the episode, Charles Widmore remarked on Desmond and Penny naming their child after him, to which Desmond replied that his son is named for Charlie Pace, who gave his life to get his friends rescued.
  • Subverted in the finale of Party of Five.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: While the namesake was very much alive, it being an Anyone Can Die series and with Saul Tigh not being the youngest of the crew, he wanted to be prepared: he was going to name his son by Caprica Six, "Liam" - short for William, after his best friend Bill Adama. Unfortunately it was Liam who died when Saul's affections went from Six back to his resurrected wife, making Bill Dead Guy Senior.
    • As revealed in Caprica, Bill is Dead Guy Junior twice over, named after his paternal grandfather and his paternal half-brother.
  • Occurs in Mad Men, with the twist that everyone but the mother hates the name. Betty names the baby after her father, whom her husband Don hated and her young daughter Sally loved. Don resents honoring the man, while Sally, already blown away by his death, is freaked out by having a replacement sleeping in her grandpa's own room and taking his name.
  • Knots Landing: Gary Ewing names his son after his recently-dead brother Bobby. This eventually brings Knots Landing into AU territory when the original Bobby is retconned back to life on the parent show.
  • On The X-Files, Scully names her son William, after Mulder's father. This was probably done as a way to confirm William's paternity; since Scully wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant, there is a Who's Your Daddy? thread to season 8. It would be an odd tribute, since given all we learn about Bill Mulder over the course of the series and how he treats his son, he's not really the kind of guy you'd want to name your kid after. Not to mention he's not Mulder's biological father.
    • William is also the name of her father and older brother, both called Bill. Baby William is the only William in the series not to be called "Bill" or "Billy."
  • Supernatural main characters Dean and Sam Winchester are named after their mother's dead parents, Samuel and Deanna Campbell.
  • Bones:
    • We find out in the second Gravedigger episode that Booth's son Parker was named after a dead war buddy. When said war buddy's ghost (or brain tumor-induced hallucination) teases him about this, Booth gruffly points out that Parker was his friend's last name.
    • One of the names that Angela and Hodgins' baby gets is Vincent, after Vincent Nigel-Murray, the lab intern who was killed in the episode prior to his birth.
    • Booth and Brennan's daughter is named Christine Angela Booth, after her mother.
  • In Alias, Sydney and Vaughn's son is named Jack.
  • In the Charmed episode that was to be the series finale, Paige is assigned to protect an innocent named Joanna, but she fails at it and Jo dies. In the next season, there's a five-or-six-episode Story Arc that involves the Charmed Ones taking on false names, and Paige's pseudonym was Jo. It's apparent that Paige was naming herself after this dead friend of hers, and while this is never hinted at in the show's text, it's enough of a Fridge Brilliance that it was probably completely intentional on the writers' part.
    • Piper and Phoebe each name one of their daughters after Prue, their dead older sister who also happened to have been named after a long-dead ancestor. The finale features even features a Prudence IV.
  • A meta-example from Frasier: in the series finale, Niles and Daphne named their baby David. This is after David Angell, co-creator of the show, who died in the 9/11 attacks.
  • At the end of Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger Asuka names his infant daughter Mikoto after Sixth Ranger Nakadai Mikoto.
  • In Prison Break, Sara's son is called Michael. The real Michael died because of a brain tumor a couple of years after taking down the Big Bad.
  • On Newhart, Larry wound up having two brothers named Darryl because of this trope. The older Darryl was carried off by a mountain lion as a baby, and his parents, presuming him dead, named their next child after him. Then the mountain lion returned the first Darryl, because he couldn't hunt worth a darn.
  • On NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs is named after a friend of his father's.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation - Troi's temporary baby, Ian Andrew, after her deceased father.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise - Trip and T'Pol's temporary baby, Elizabeth, after Trip's recently murdered sister.
    • Star Trek: Voyager - Final episode: Paris and Torres' last-minute baby, Miral, hence: Babies Ever After, after B'Elanna's dead mom.
      • And possibly The (holographic) Doctor's last-minute name, Joe, in an aborted future timeline. It could be partly a joke, especially if he took his name from the last-minute execution of Lt. Joe Carey. It could be part Take That, Audience! For seven seasons, the producers/writers agonized on what name the Doctor should have until, ultimately, they gave up, and so the Doctor remained unnamed. That didn't mean they didn't play around with it from time to time. Which is why Joe was such a raspberry of a Brick Joke.
  • Done multiple times in Once Upon a Time, where characters name their children after dead parents or characters who died earlier that season:
    • Henry Mills, adopted son of Regina, named after her father, which is twisted considering Regina killed her own father. (Strangely, he is still named Henry in the alternate reality where Regina never adopted him.)
    • In Season 3, Snow White and Prince Charming name their son Neal.
    • In Season 5, Zelena names her daughter Robin, also the name of the baby's father.
    • Wish Realm Hook names his daughter Alice after his mother.


  • In Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude, Nina never gets over the fact that Gordon Shaw died in the war without leaving her with Someone to Remember Him By. So when she gets married and has a son, she names him Gordon. He doesn't resemble his father Sam all that much, because Nina aborted Sam's baby and had one by Darrell instead.
  • This is where most of the confusion comes from in The Comedy of Errors: Thinking her son Antipholus is dead, she names her surviving son (his twin)... Antipholus. Then she does the same to his servant, who also had a twin brother. Why the other kids had names and they didn't is never explained.

Video Games

  • At the end of Wild Arms 2, the newborn babies of the protagonist Ashley and his Love interest Marina are named after their commander and his sister who sacrificed their lives near the end of the game.
  • Part of the finale in the (intentionally corny) Show Within a Game Lords and Ladies in Max Payne.
  • Final Fantasy X: Yuna is named after Lady "Yunalesca", one of the most famous summoners of all time. Turns out that Yunalesca was and still is evil.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Welkin ends up naming his daughter Isara after his adopted sister who died in battle.
  • Billy's name is never expanded upon in the original Call of Juarez but in the prequel, we learn that Ray and Thomas McCall had a younger brother named William whom Ray killed but it was half Thomas' fault, as well. Obviously, Billy (who was born shortly after that) was named after him.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has one of these, albeit only in the Japanese version: It turned out that Ena had somehow gotten pregnant from her (now) deceased fiance, Rajaion. It turned out to be a boy, and Ena named him... well, you can guess what.
  • Though it doesn't actually happen, in the ending of Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Excellen mentions to Kyosuke that she wants to get married and have a daughter named Alfimi/Alchimie. If you saw a certain hidden scene slightly earlier in the game, she instead says she wants two daughters, with the second being named Lemon. Both of these characters were clones/copies of Excellen, so it's only fitting that they be remembered as part of her family.
    • An official Yonkoma adds to the joke by her say "If it's a about Axel?" to which Kyosuke agrees.
  • A villainous example is Purge Junior from Space Channel 5 Part 2. He's Purge's son apparently and looks exactly like him. The awkward part? Purge is only 18 years old and he isn't really dead.
  • The Revenge ending of Grand Theft Auto IV has a post-credits gameplay phonecall from Roman, who insists that if his and Mallorie's coming child is a girl they'll name her after Niko's late love interest Kate, who was the victim of a drive-by shooting that hit their wedding.
  • SaGa Frontier 2: Given that Gustave was born of nobility, he's the thirteenth of his line, and a few other characters share his name.
  • In Dragon Age Origins, the male Dwarf Noble Warden can have an Optional Sexual Encounter with a noble hunter [2] very early in the game. Upon returning to Orzammar later, he will learn that she has born him a child from that. If he helps her into nobility, he can decide to give the child a name. Among the choices are his own name, the name of his recently-deceased mentor, his dead older brother, his dead father or his exiled Second.
    • If the Dwarf Noble named their son after their father, its later revealed that Bhelen also named his son "Endrin" after their father.[3]
  • The back story to Zelda II: Adventure of Link informs us that there's a law in Hyrule for princesses to be named in honor of the "sleeping" Zelda in the game.

Tabletop Games

  • A common but strongly discouraged practice in roleplaying games is for The Munchkin to name their new character after their old dead character. If Dudefella gets croaked by an Orc, another character with the exact same skills named "Dudefella II" appears to replace him! How amazing!


  • In Girl Genius, Bill Heterodyne named his son "Klaus Barry" after his younger brother and his best friend Klaus Wulfenbach. Over two years after Klaus vanished, mind you, as the old family seneschal takes pains to make clear.
  • Davan McIntire of Something Positive is named for his grandfather's cousin, who was killed quite graphically in the early 40's. The elder Davan was also the star of a Spin-Off strip running 70 years in the past, though it's been dormant for years. Davan's father Fred also had a wife and son who were killed prior to his marrying Davan's mother, and some fans thought that perhaps Davan was named for his dead half-brother; the author of the comic basically said that was too twisted even for his work.
  • El Goonish Shive: Grace Scuridae, named after her "grandpa's" dead daughter, who was also one of her gene donors.
  • Anders Loves Maria: Anders' daughter is named after her mother, who died in childbirth.
  • In Drowtales, Sil'lice named her twins Kau and Shala after her son Kau'shala, who died in the Nidraa'chal War.
  • In Endstone, Colindra was named for her grandmother.

Western Animation

  • On Futurama, Yancy names his firstborn son "Philip" after his long-missing younger brother. However, Fry isn't actually dead, just frozen in a cryogenic lab.
    • The character of Fry himself is one as he's named after Philip Hartman, who the show wanted for Zapp Brannigan.
  • In The Legend of Korra, the sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, the show's main couple, Aang and Katara are revealed to have had three children, two of which were named after people they knew and cared about: Kya and Bumi.
    • The character Mako isn't named after someone who died in-universe. He's named after Mako, a voice actor for the previous series that died during production.
  • South Park spoofs this while at the same time providing a possible explanation for one of the show's most famous running gags. In one episode, Kenny's mother announces she is pregnant, which causes Kenny to become extremely worried that he is being replaced. By the end of the episode, Kenny has died (as usual) and his mom delivers a son who looks exactly like him. In honor of their departed son, they name the baby Kenny. At which point Kenny's dad remarks that "this is like the fiftieth time this has happened."
    • To which his wife replies, "Fifty-second."
      • And if you're wondering how come baby Kenny is an eight year old Kenny again? Don't worry, there was another episode that explained THAT too.
  • A combination of this, We Named the Monkey "Jack", and Running Gag occurs in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, where the turtles name every friendly Ceratopsid they meet in the Cretaceous Period after Zog, their fallen Triceraton ally.
  • Archer: Subverted. The episode that shows how Woodhouse came to be the Archer's butler has him running a seedy bar in Tangiers after drifting around the world in grief over Reggie, his commanding officer in the British Air Force during WW 1, Which he was very close to. It's this bar that VERY pregnant secret agent Mallory Archer stumbles into proclaiming that people are trying to kill her and her water just broke. She gives birth to her son (Main character Sterling) there on the bar, and after she names him after a silver rattle that someone had traded for his bar tab, Woodhouse asks if she would give him the middle name "Reggie". Mallory laughs and says no, because the name is "too gay". Instead, she makes his middle name Mallory after herself.
  • The cat owned by The Simpsons is named "Snowball II" after a similar cat who died after being hit by a car. One episode was actually about Snowball II dying as a result of her being hit by another car, and being replaced by Snowballs III and IV, whom both died as well (the former drowned, while the latter fell out of a window). The episode ends with Lisa coming upon a black cat that looked exactly like Snowball II and names it Snowball V, but then changes her mind and decides to call the cat Snowball II "to save on a new cat dish."
    • Principal Skinner witnesses the whole thing and comments that that's cheating, but after Lisa retorts "I guess you're right, Principal Tamzarian" he quickly gives in.

Real Life

  • Also a case of Truth in Television. One example is Dan Quayle, whose full name is James Danforth Quayle - Danforth was the last name of a friend of Quayle's father. Said friend died in battle during World War II, and Dan was named in honor of him.
    • What makes it a name for the "Your Honor, the Defense rests" file (said to the judge after giving the full name of someone who killed his parents...) is that J. Danforth Quail is the name of a villain from Scrooge McDuck.
  • Truth in Television: Ever wondered why there have been so many kings named Louis in France and George or Edward in Great Britain? (among others...)
    • A more extreme example is Denmark, which for over five centuries alternated Fredericks and Christians, each named after their grandfathers.
      • Five centuries and counting. They keep naming them that.
    • In The Netherlands, all kings and most Stadtholders have been named Willem. The next king will be Willem IV, and the first king (Willem I) was Willem VI before being crowned. There even was a Wilhelmina somewhere down the line, and technically a French guy named, ofcourse, Louis.
    • Taken to its logical extreme by the German princes of Reuß. Since about 1200 every male member of the family has been named Heinrich.
    • How about Hellenistic Egypt, where almost every royal boy was named Ptolemy and every girl was Cleopatra. The most famous Cleopatra had a mother and sister who shared her name, and her father and two brothers had the name Ptolemy; additionally, two of her children bore those names, and the third was named for Alexander the Great.
      • No, the Hellenes actually rotated three girls names: Arsinoe, Berenika, and Kleopatra.
      • Perhaps confusion ensures as her mother and aunt were, um, : the same person
  • Truth in Television again: The Romans were wonderfully uncreative in naming their children. Upper class Roman families had about 2 dozen first names to choose from. To give just one example, the famous Julius Caesar's praenomen (given name, more or less) was Gaius, which he shared with his father and grandfather. And an adopted great-great-grandson better known as Caligula. This feature can make Roman history just a little confusing.
    • There's also the interesting little quirk about female naming in Roman society. A daughter's praenomen was the feminine of her father's last name. If the father was named Cornelius, for example, his first born daughter would be named Cornelia. If he had a string of daughters they would also be named Cornelia but would receive a second qualifying praenomen of "Secunda" "the second." and so on. This got really complicated when several men named Cornelius all had daughters, so they all got nicknames, like Cornelia Africana, Julia Caesaris or Caecilia Merula.
  • Needless to say, this happens in a lot of families.
    • This is something that can often drive genealogists to distraction. But, given our interest in family history, we often do it ourselves. Oops.
  • A tragic case in the documentary Boy Interrupted: The director's fifteen-year-old son Evan Scott Perry was Driven to Suicide by mental illness. Evan was apparently named in honor of the director's brother Scott, who was also driven to suicide by mental illness about 10 years earlier. In a heart-wrenching scene, Evan is buried with his namesake uncle while the elderly mother of the director wonders why her son is dead.
  • I was told by a colleague of Italian descent that the reason Italian families were so big was because they had to have at least two sons - one to be named for each of the parents' fathers. This meant that they had to have at least three sons to be able to introduce a new name.
    • This is the case for Irish families as well, according to That Other Wiki - "the first son is named after the father's father, the second son after the mother's father, the third son after the father, the first daughter after the mother's mother, the second daughter after the father's mother, the third daughter after the mother."
    • Still very much true among large families in Ireland where it's not uncommon to have several grandchildren sharing their grandfathers and grandmothers name. In fact due to most Irish names having both a masculine and feminine version this isn't limited by the children's gender. With families tending to be smaller nowadays it's also not uncommon for sons to simply gain their father's name.
      • This is often invoked with the Confirmation names taken by every Catholic child in Ireland when they are confirmed. Usually, you'll take the name of a saint, or somebody close to you who has died. However, because a lot of Irish people are named after saints, especially the older generation, it often ends up being both.
  • Truth in Television: It's a common practice among Ashkenazi Jews to name babies after recently deceased relatives, it's a way of honoring the memory of a person. Historically, it was actually considered bad luck to name a baby after a still-living relative, especially an elderly one—the reasoning being that it might confuse the Angel of Death at the moment of the namesake’s death, resulting in the child being taken instead.
  • Poet Laureate of England, Alfred Lord Tennyson, named his greatest poem and his son after his departed friend Arthur Henry Hallam.
  • Pope John Paul II, who took that name after his precedessor (John Paul I) who died one month after being elected.
    • And John Paul I took his name from his two predecessors, Paul VI and John XXIII.
  • Former Wisconsin Attorney General Bronson La Follette, the son of U.S. Senator Robert M. La Follette, Jr., was named after his father's friend and Senate colleague Bronson M. Cutting of New Mexico, who died in an airplane crash a few months before the birth.
  • It's also a common tradition among old Southern families in America, especially give girls their female relatives' maiden names so the family names won't be lost.
  • Many, many pet owners do this, naming a new pet after one that has just died/become lost.
  • Inuit society used to (and possibly still does) do this; names were not gender specific and it was believed the dead were reincarnated in the next birth, so the new baby was named after the last relative to have died.
  • Lenny Kravitz was named after his uncle, PFC Leonard Kravitz. Said uncle had a Dying Moment of Awesome when he held off a Chinese Zerg Rush in the Korean War with a .30 Cal, allowing his company to withdraw safetly. Efforts have been made to get his Distinguished Service Cross upgraded to a Medal of Honor.
  1. sound familiar?
  2. (Dwarf women looking to increase their status through bearing a noble's son)
  3. (Despite Bhelen being rumoured to have had something to do with his death)