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There's a goblin in my clan named "Stop the Ceremony I Swallowed A Bug". Yeah, our teller really sucks at naming ceremonies.
Piss Off I Have a Headache, "Hava" for short, Goblins

Someone who can't think of good names for things (or people if it's the character's kids). The names are too long, don't fit the thing(s), or are just weird.

Now this isn't how you feel about the names (this is an objective trope). It's about the story making it clear that the character chooses bad or weird names.

We would go for a truly awful title to make it self demonstrating, but this trope usually has the description of the thing stated in the show, just to make it clear how awful the name is.

And this is just about characters, not any work/trope title you don't like. We will nuke any such entries.

Just for Fun, we have a page devoted to trope titles as they might be devised by a Giver of Lame Names - see Lousy Alternate Titles.

Fail O'Suckyname can overlap with this. Not to be confused with The Nicknamer, no matter how lame those nicknames are.

Examples of Giver of Lame Names include:

Anime & Manga

  • Renge from Airmaster. She has a tendency to give ridiculously bad names for Maki's signature moves, before one of the other girls interrupt her with a better name. They routinely joke that she has "No naming-sense".
  • Finland from Axis Powers Hetalia tried to name his pet dog "Go For It! Bomber" before his partner Sweden stopped him. And then he went for "Bloody Flower Egg"....
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, in an extra story in the manga, Col. Mustang says Lt. Hawkeye is this after she adopts an abandoned puppy and names it "Black Hayate."
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, Kafuka Fuura gives her teacher, Nozomu Itoshiki, the name "Pink Supervisor" after he tries to kill himself by hanging from a cherry tree in full bloom. He of course hates it, thus prompting Fuura to try and pay Itoshiki to allow her to call him that.
  • Konoe Subaru from Mayo Chiki.
  • Luffy from "One Piece". Generally his nicknames and names involve food, though his first three names for the crew's new ship were "Bear!! Polar bear!! Lion", "Tiger!! Wolf!! Lion", and "Squid!! Octopus!! Chimpanzee" (his fourth name finally brought him back to his comfort zone with "Dumpling, Gorilla, Lion")
  • Hayate the Combat Butler gives us Student Council President Hinagiku Katsura. Despite being amazing at almost everything, if she names anything it will be immediately called out by whoever is present. They aren't weird or long names either, just really, really simplistic such as basically naming a baby sparrow 'brown bird'. Hayate typically is exasperated by her naming sense, which is funny when you consider that his naming sense is literally just as bad...both named Athena "A-tan", notably a character longer than her actual name.


  • In one Ultimate Fantastic Four comic, Ben, Sue, and Johnny all complain that Reed can't name things (the example they give being "The Fantasti-car"). Dr. Storm then says they should let Johnny name the shuttle Reed's reinventing. He names it the "Awesome". Reed is not amused.
    • And later, just before the title got canceled, Ben is on his own and helps set up a shuttle to save Sue. He comments that "I finally got to name one of these doohickeys myself" while we see that the shuttle sports the name "Awesome II".
      • Lame? Those names are awesome!
  • In All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson, age 12, tells The Goddamn Batman that "Batmobile" sounds lame. Batman Crazy Steve visibly takes offense and tells Dick to shut up. Later he rants at Black Canary for making the same mistake.
  • In the "The Wake" storyline for Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series, some of The Endless create a golem and ask Delerium to name him. After Delerium's first suggestion, "Plippy Ploppy Cheese Nose", Death has to give her a little guidance in naming conventions.

Fan Works

Films — Animation

  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, most of Flint's inventions have pretty straightforward names, even if they don't exactly roll off the tongue (Hair Un-balder, anyone?). However, his latest invention has the unwieldy title of "Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator" or FLDSMDFR for short.
  • As seen in the Western Animation section below, the military in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut are spectacularly literal minded with their operation names. The first wave of their attack plan, consisting of african american soldiers, is called Operation Human Shield, and the second wave is Operation Get Behind the Darky
  • Subverted then played straight in Monsters, Inc.: When a co-worker catches Mike yelling at Sulley, Mike plays it off as rehearsing for the company musical, improbably named "Put That Thing Back Where it Came from, or So Help Me...." Later played straight when it's revealed that they actually did put on the musical.

Films — Live-Action

  • In the Wild Wild West movie, Artemus Gordon was constantly using long, awkward terms to name his inventions.
  • In Down Periscope, we learn early that the electrician's name is "Nitro". But he's working on a nickname: "Mike".
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the knights meet an awesome enchanter, who ostentiatiously causes huge explosions, teleports within one such, and wields a staff of flame. He declaims his status loudly, and when asked his name, responds, "There are some who call me.... Tim?"


  • Discworld:
    • Leonard of Quirm invents loads of things, but his names for them just don't work. They are exact, but so wordy they won't catch on.
      • There's a lot of lampshading of this one — for example, he has a device which is designed to be "submersed in a marine environment." Naturally, he names it the "Going-Under-The-Water-Safely Device."
      • In Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, during the course of preparing a cheese sandwich, he redesigns a war machine to pull a plough and, since it's key feature is traction, calls it the Machine For Pulling Heavy Loads. Also, to keep dairies cool for the cheese, he invents a device for regulating temperature by means of metal strips coupled to pulleys. He calls it the Device For Regulating Temperature By Means of Metal Stips (Coupled to Pulleys)
      • The Make Words With Tiles That Have Been All Mixed Up Game!
      • And his code-breaking Engine for the Neutralisation of Information via the Generation of Miasmic Alphabets.
    • Lancre as a country is repeatedly said to suffer from this sort of thing, for two reasons. Firstly, its largely rural and uncomplicated population tend to choose names without regard for meaning ("There'd be a little Chlamydia running around today if her mother hadn't decided Sally was easier to spell"); and secondly, the Lancrastian naming custom dictating that whatever the naming priest says at the appropriate moment is the name. This has led to such gems as Princess Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling, King My God He's Heavy the First, and James What The Hell's That Cow Doing In Here Poorchick.
    • Lancre is also the home of the unfortunate Carter family. They started by naming the daughters after virtues. When that backfired, (Chastity Carter is a prostitute, Patience Carter is famously short-tempered, etc) they switched tactics and named the sons after vices. This has worked out better - Anger Carter is known for being even-tempered, and Bestiality Carter is famous for his kindness to animals.
    • And then there are the Wee Free Men, including Not-as-Big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-Bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock.
  • In the book and film Where the Heart Is, Lexie names her kids after the food she craved while pregnant with them.
  • In Things Snowball' by Rich Hall, Morpheus, the bestower of superhero powers, is partially deaf and liable to mispronounce names. This has resulted in the creation of superheroes like Merman (originally intended to be a water-themed superhero, he instead became the world's first Orthodox Jew superhero and objected to fighting crime on the sabbath), and Incest Boy (who was originally intended to have the power of insects, but now has to activate his powers by... well, work it out for yourself).
  • Hermione starts the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare in the fourth Harry Potter book. Too bad she didn't pause to realize what the acronym was...

Live-Action TV

  • In the short-lived western spoof Legend (not to be confused with the movie, but from the same people who made The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.), the inventor Bartok gives overly long names for his inventions.
  • A recurring theme on Stargate Atlantis. Lieutenant Ford was supposed to be terrible at naming things, but his names really weren't that bad. For example he wanted to call the original people from Atlantis the Atlantians. Shepperd scoffed at that, but it wasn't that different from the name they eventually used anyway.
    • Similarly, a number of people tried to name the Lantian shuttle a GateShip (it's a ship that goes through the Gate!), which turned out to be what the Atlanteans originally called it. This was shot down, again by Sheppard, who decided to call it a Puddle Jumper. It stuck.
    • And the Wraith never use names (if they even have them) around humans, so Sheppard took to naming them things like "Michael", "Todd", and "Kenny". Lampshaded when Dr. McKay got jealous that Sheppard always got to name everything.
    • "We can name it later."
  • Phoebe in Friends. Regina Phalange anyone?
  • In the French series Kaamelott, this is a habit of young knights Gauvain and Yvain, mostly because they're trying to use words that they think sound cool without having a clue of their meaning. Gauvain insists on the nickname "Knight of the Pancreas". For their duo, they came up with the name "Les Petits Pédestres" (which sound a lot like "The Little Faggots"). After encountering traveling Indians with an elephant, Yvain wanted to be called "The Elephant of Cameliard" — but he got it mixed with "The Orphan of Cameliard", starting the rumor that his parents, the king and queen of Cameliard, were dead. They weren't pleased.
  • Buffy's mom once formed an organization called "Mothers Opposed to the Occult," or MOO. The other characters were not impressed.
  • In the Community episode, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Abed is shown to be not very good at naming characters, with examples such as Bing-Bong, Zippididoo, and Maarrr.
  • Dean of Supernatural earned his place on this page in season 6, when Eve started creating her brand new monster hybrids.

 Dean: What do you call these?

Bobby: Well, congrats, you discovered it, you get to name it.

Dean: Jefferson Starships... because they're horrible and hard to kill.

    • Sam and Bobby were understandably skeptical.
  • On The Daily Show, most of the segments involve Punny Titles that Jon Stewart or his staff come up with to riff on the media issue he's discussing. Occasionally Stewart will go through a series of lame or unfortunate versions before settling on the final one.
  • On Scrubs: "Janitor lunch eater."

Puppet Shows

  • In Dinosaurs, the Elder is responsible for giving all dinosaur babies names, and his clerk makes it official. Unfortunately, the clerk writes down whatever the Elder says during the ceremony. Baby Sinclair's original given name was "Augh! Augh! I'm Dying, You Idiot!" when the Elder suffered a fatal heart attack. It made it very difficult for the family to play the Name Game.

Stand-Up Comedy

  • Patton Oswalt has a bit about a kid who wrote a movie which featured a horse named "Michael Tanner." He then, being Patton, says it's like having a sword, "crafted from pure, hot steel from the bowels of hell, and bonded with the soul of an ancient warlord, and its name is Gary Blevins!"

Video Games

  • A lot of things that gnome and goblin engineers make in World of Warcraft. Wrench? No no no, it's an Arclight Spanner. Screwdriver? No, that's a Gyromatic Micro-Adjustor. Heat Sink? Hyper-Radiant Flame Reflector. Fishing Lure? Aquadynamic Fish Attractor.
  • Sometimes Remilia Scarlet, from the Touhou Series is implied to be one of these in the fandom.
  • Karol from Tales of Vesperia. Unluckily for him, his name suggestions are always rejected and he is klonked on the head.
  • Simultaneously averted and played straight by a civic group in GTA: Liberty City Stories. Citizens United Negating Technology For Life And People's Safety. Try making an acronym out of that. (Acronym NSFW)
  • Aurica from Ar tonelico. You can still go with her names for the items you make, but really, you're better off using your own or a different Reyvateil to name stuff. In the second game, Mireven refers to her as "the girl who sucks at naming things."
  • If you don't type in a player name on You Don't Know Jack, the host will assign you a completely random name like "ladder" or "toilet."
  • Rouge from Mega Man Zero turns out to be this in one audio drama. When pressed to give a name to the Baby Elves, a pair of cute, ball-shaped Energy Beings, she seriously proposes "Crime and Punishment". This gets her into an argument with the other operator where they accuse each other of being this.
  • In Sengoku Rance, Kou decides to call the dungeon in Oda the "Miso Katsu Dungeon". Rance is probably an even worse namer, suggesting "The Biographies of Eight Satomi Dogs" (which actually turned out to be somewhat accurate,) as a good dungeon name. And then there's the hyper weapon...
  • In Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People episode Strong Badia the Free, you can have one member of the Teen Girl Squad (any will do) attempt to name a cat "Miss Jumblepuddins". Then the cat's mother - actually a saber-toothed tiger - appears and eats the girl for giving her cub a lame name.

Web Comics

  • Jack in Zebra Girl.
  • Young-and-Beautiful of Goblins gives names to the goblins of her village based on what's destined for them. While some get names like Chief or Fumbles, there's also Dies-Horribly, Can't-Think-of-a-Name-Cause-He-Looks-Like-a-Regular-Guy or Shaken-Unfairly. And calling herself "Young-and-Beautiful" when she's a fat old hag. Guess from where Complains-of-Names gets his monicker (and why, for that matter)?
    • At least Young-and-Beautiful isn't as bad as the shaman who gives goblins names like 'Piss-off-I-Hava-Headache' ('Hava' to his friends) and 'Stop-The-Ceremony-I-Swallowed-A-Bug'.
  • The players from Darths and Droids consider the GM to be one of these (and many times end up taking Sally's names instead).
  • In Everyday Heroes, Mr. Mighty once worked for a superhero group known as the Group Of Official Do-Gooders United In Suppressing Evil... or for short, GOODGUISE.

Western Animation

  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. It's always the whatever-inator.
    • Lampshaded (where else?) in another episode, where he reveals his very first invention: the Inator. (He couldn't decide what it would do at the time.)
    • At one point he decides the "inator" name is responsible for his failures, and calls his latest invention a "non-inator" since it's not one.
    • Also from Phineas and Ferb, the Organization Without a Cool Acronym.
  • In the Family Guy "Blue Harvest" Star Wars parody, Grand Moff Tarkin (voiced by Adam West) announces to Princess Leia his plans to use the "Death Star Planet Blower-Upper Gun" on her home planet of Alderaan.
    • In the series proper, when Peter declares his house a sovereign country, the military arrives and threatens to commence "Operation Bomb the Crap Out Of Your House". The guy declaring this then adds, "The guy who names things is on vacation."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender's Sokka: "Sparky-Sparky-Boom Man".
    • Actually he and Toph are quite good at making names. Which in the last episode makes them tell Suki: "Leave the nicknames to us, honey."
  • When Marge Simpson becomes a Moral Guardians, she forms the protest group SNUH (Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding and Helping).
  • The Military in the South Park movie "Imaginationland", whose projects and operations tend to be a little too on the nose: i.e. Project Imagination Doorway and Operation Nuke the Imagination Through the Imagination Doorway.
  • In one episode of Time Squad, the Earl of Sandwich attempts to give his new food creation the moniker of "Stinky Pile o' Poo". He claims that it was his mother's maiden name.
  • Invader Zim seems to like giving out overly long names as part of his Large Ham persona, including "Burger Lord," "Human Dog Monster," and "Frolicking Dirt Child."