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Sometimes, authors give their characters related names. While Theme Naming adds a sense of unity or cohesiveness to the work, it doesn't always make much sense in-universe. Family Theme Naming is when the names of related characters follow a pattern or fall into a category. Somewhere along the line, a character would have had to make the decision to name his or her children something that resulted in Theme Naming. This could result in similarly named siblings or span the entire family tree.

A subtrope of Theme Naming. Theme Twin Naming is a subtrope. See also Alliterative Family.


Anime & Manga

  • In Inuyasha, the three named characters from the demon slayers' village — Sango, her younger brother Kohaku, and their pet Kirara — all have names referring to semi-precious stones (coral, amber and mica, respectively). Additionally, Kikyou and her younger sister Kaede both have names that begin with K and refer to plants (bellflower and maple).
  • In Dragon Ball:
    • Son Goku and his sons--Gohan and Goten. Further, the kanji for "ku" in Goku's name (空) means "sky" and the "ten" in Goten's name (天) means "heaven".
    • Later, Gohan ("rice") marries a girl named Videl and have a daughter named Pan ("bread"), another intentional pun on Akira Toriyama's part.
      • Videl herself is an anagram of "Devil", as her father is named Mr. Satan.
      • And Pan is actually a triple-themed name: the food puns for Gohan's side of the family, the powerful/mythical theme from Videl's, and the musical theme from Piccolo, who was Gohan's surrogate father for much of the series.
    • Goku's wife was named Chi-Chi (milk/breast) because her father is the "Ox King". Their family is a reference to cows.
    • King Piccolo and all of his children (Tambourine, Drum, Cymbal, Piano, Piccolo Jr.) who are all named after musical instruments.
    • The Briefs family (Bulma/Bloomer, Dr. Briefs, Trunks, Bra) who are named after undergarments.
    • Krillin later gives birth to a daughter named Marron. Both names are puns on chestnuts.
    • The Namekians (Dende, Nail, Cargo, Moori, Slug), who are all named after snails.
    • The Saiyans, who are all named after vegetables (Raditz, Kakarot, Broli, Paragus), with the royal family and planet all being named "Vegeta".
    • The Ginyu Force are all named after dairy products (Ginyu--Milk, Burter--Butter, Jeice--Cheese, Guldo--Yogurt, Recoome--Cream).
    • Majin Buu and his two masters (Bibidi and Babidi) are all named after the Cinderella Song, "Bibidi Babidi Boo
    • Frieza (Freezer)'s family (his father King Cold, his brother Cooler, and his ancestor Chilled) are all given cold-themed names. The exception is Kuriza, Frieza's son in the parody Neko Majin Z ("Kuri" means chestnut, and refers to the pointed top of Kuriza's head).
  • In Pokémon, Misty and her sisters are named after flowers.
  • In Gamaran, the (probable) Big Bad Naosada Washizu, the Daimyo of Unabara, has about 30 sons. All of them have a name starting with Nao. (Naoyoshi, Naoshizu, Naoie and so on)
  • The main heroes in Sorcerer Hunters are named after cakes: Carrot, Marron, Gateau, Chocolate and Tira (Misu).
  • Hunter X Hunter: The five Zaoldyeck children. From oldest to youngest: Illumi, Milluki, Killua, Alluka, and Kalluto.
  • Bleach is absolutely rife with this:
    • Ichigo and his siblings all named after fruit. (Ichigo=strawberry; Karin=quince; Yuzu=citron).
    • The Shiba siblings are all named after birds: Kaien=sea swallow; Kuukaku= sky crane; Ganju=rock eagle.
    • The Kuchiki clan have colour associations connected to their names. Ginrei (silver), Soujun (green/blue), Byakuya (white).
    • The Ishida clan have themes relating to their quincy heritage: Souken (bow clan), Ryuuken (Dragon bow). Uryuu (dragon rain) may not look like his name follows the family theme, but it actually describes his signature bow attack, a rain of 1200 arrows.
    • The named Inoue members have celestial themes. Orihime (a celestial weaver maiden) and Sora (the sky itself).
    • The Kotetsu sisters (Isane and Kiyone) have sound-themed names.



  • In Harry Potter, many members of the Black family are named after stars or constellations.
    • Most of the Weasley's names are influenced by Arthurian legend.
    • Lily and Petunia Evans.
      • This is passed on when Harry names his daughter Lily and Ron and Hermione name their daughter Rose.
  • The members of the Holt family in The 39 Clues are named after famous people in American government: Three are named after presidents (Eisenhower, Madison and Reagan), the mother is named after a famous first lady (Mary-Todd is too uncommon a name to be a coincidence) and the son is named Hamilton.
  • The Larkin sisters of Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy are all named after Shakespeare characters.
  • In The Saxon Stories, Utrhed's father, son, brother and one cousin (and presumably most of his paternal ancestors) are all named Uthred.
  • The Great Brain: Brothers Sewyn, Tom and John all have the same middle name (Dennis) as do their father and all Fitzgerald men.
  • Nearly everyone in the Next family of the Thursday Next series is named after days of the week. There's the titular Thursday herself, her mother, Monday, and her son and daughter, Friday and Tuesday. Thursday's daughter, Jenny, is the only striking exception to the pattern. Because she doesn't even exist, and is only a mindworm that Aornis placed on her.
  • Jean Mc Devitt's 1940s juvenile novel Mr. Apple's Family has Mr. and Mrs. Apple naming their children Macintosh, Jonathan, Delicious, and Snow, all for varieties of apples. The baby ends up named Ann — "An Apple".
  • Honor Harrington: Albrecht Detweiler and his sons, whose names run alphabetically in order of seniority. Also a subverted case of Theme Twin Naming, since all of Albrecht's sons are clones of him.

Live Action TV

  • Burt from Glee named his son Kurt.
  • In the Leave It to Beaver Reunion Show, Eddie Haskell's son is named Freddie. In the Revival series Still The Beaver it's changed to Eddie Haskell Jr.
  • The Bob Newhart Show: Howard Borden is the odd one out in his family — he has two (unseen) brothers: Gordon Borden the game warden and Norman Borden the Mormon doorman.
  • Desperate Housewives: All the Scavo kids have names beginning with P.
  • In Wonderfalls, the Tylers are named Darren, Karen, Sharon, Aaron and Jaye.
  • Subtly done in 7th Heaven, Reverend Camden and his wife Annie give all their children Biblical names: Matthew, Mary, Lucy, Simon, Ruth (always called Ruthie though), Samuel and David.
    • Does Lucy fit in to this?


Video Games

  • In Stacking, all the members of the Blackmore family except Charlie have names beginning with A.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has a small family all named after dairy products: Cream the Rabbit; her mother, Vanilla, and her Chao, Cheese. Other Chao associated with Cream were named Chocola and Milk.
  • Brothers Sans and Papyrus from Undertale are named after fonts.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • After Orion Pax and Ariel were destroyed in Transformers, they were rebuilt into Optimus Prime and Elita One, both of which translate into pretty much the same thing.
  • The titular brothers from the Bolekand Lolek cartoon.
  • Popeye has Olive Oyl and her family (Nana, Castor, Cole).
  • In DuckTales, Donald's nephews are named Huey, Louie and Dewey. Also their female counterparts, April, May and June.
  • In Kim Possible, Kim, Bonnie, Shego, and Ron's families fit this trope
    • Jim, Kim, and Tim Possible from the Possible Family.
    • Ron and Han from the Stoppable Family.
    • Shego, Hego, Mego, and the Wego Twins from the Go family.
    • Bonnie, Connie, and Lonnie from the Rockwaller family.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, every pair of siblings in the main cast shares a syllable in their names: Zuko and Azula, Sokka and Katara, Ozai and Iroh.
    • Not only that, but all of Zuko's direct family line have names containing a Z. Zuko and his sister Azula, their father Ozai, grandfather Azulon and great-grandfather Sozen.
  • Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls all have cutesy names that have double consonants and begin with B. Also, two of them are named after flowers.
    • Lampshaded in The Movie: the Professor names Blossom because he instantly "opens up" to him, Bubbles because of her bubbly personality, and Buttercup "because it's also a 'B' name."
    • They even created a (temporary) fourth Powerpuff and named her to fit the pattern, Bunny.

Real Life

  • All of Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar's children (stars of TLC's reality show 19 Kids and Counting) have names beginning with the letter J: Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedediah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, Josie, and the stillborn Jubilee.
    • Josh's two children with Anna Duggar have an M theme: Mackynzie and Michael.
  • Faith, Hope and Charity Cardwell, according to the Guiness Book of Records, are the longest-lived set of triplets.
  • George Foreman's sons are named George Jr., George III, George IV, George V and George VI. Two of his daughters are named Freeda George and Georgetta.

 "I called them all George because I was worried that when I was older I might suffer from memory loss. I would have called my five girls George, too, but my wife said she thought that was overkill. When one of them is naughty, I shout 'George!' and that one knows who I mean. The only time it is awkward for me is when a teacher calls up and say we have a problem with George, and I have to ask them which one."