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Some writers, instead of just including the odd Shout-Out, name entire groups of characters after characters in some other work of fiction.

Compare Named After Somebody Famous.

Examples of Shout-Out Theme Naming include:

Anime and Manga

  • Dragon Ball contains a nod to Disney's Cinderella with the ancient mage Bibidi, his son Babidi, and the demon that they created, Buu ("Bibbidi bobbidi boo!").
  • Three out of four of the main characters from Burst Angel are named after characters from the book Little Women (Jo, Meg, and Amy, with Sei being the Odd Name Out). In an interview, the creator mentioned that Sei's middle name was Bethany, thus making her still technically fit.
    • Also, in the original Little Women Beth's was the only name not changed from her real life counterpart. So having her the odd name out is IN ITSELF a shout out.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX there are two female students from the Obelisk Blue dorm named Asuka and Rei.
    • Evangelion references aren't just for GX. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the resident Jerkass Rival is named Shinji while his brother is named Reiji.
    • Older Than They Think, since Eva's Rei and Asuka were in fact named for a character from Raideen, Rei Asuka.
      • That's debatable, or possibly just synchronistic, since Rei is usually regarded as being named after Rei Hino.
  • Speaking of Pokémon, there are the most recurring members of Team Rocket, the pairs of Jessie and James, and Cassidy and Buffy Butch. named after famous outlaws. For Jessie and James, their original Japanese names are a Shout-Out, too (Miyamoto Musashi and Sakaki Kojirou, respectively). To up the ante, when the four are paired based on gender, there is a theme again [1]. That's a lot of Shout Outs...
  • Of course Detective Conan (or Case Closed for that matter) has Theme Naming all over the place, but Shinichi's surroundings worth some mention. He called himself the modern Sherlock Holmes, and he lives in lot 2-21, Beika, Tokyo. Next to Beika we have Haido (Hyde Park anyone?), and the river that flows across the neighbourhoods is called Teimutsu (Thames, anyone?). Tell me, is this still Tokyo, or is London who happened to be inhabited by Japanese?
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has a surprising bit of Cultural Cross-Reference with Nodoka's four treasure hunter friends in the Magic World Story Arc. All of them are named after characters in James P. Hogan's Inherit the Stars novel. Craig Caldwell is named after Gregg Caldwell, Kristin Danchecker is named after Professor Christian Danchekker, Lynn Gulland is named after Lyn Garland, and Aisha Coryell is named after Koriel.
    • And the name of the Lifemaker comes from Hogan's novel Code of the Lifemaker.
  • Although it doesn't translate into English very clearly, in Naruto Kakuzu's signature attacks come from the names of different Zeon mobile suits. Just for starters, his ability to turn into a mass of strings is called "Jiongu" (literally "Earth Grudge Fear"), which is how "Zeong" (a mobile suit which also had arms that could extend outward attached by cords) is pronounced in Japanese.
  • Gundam Wing contains references to The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy Catalonia and her gold-plated vehicles, the organization OZ (whose emblem is a lion), the Specials' emblem looking like the Tin Woodsman's head in profile, and, in episode 34, the OZ commander's callsign is "Scarecrow 5".
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Athrun's Mid-Season Upgrade, Infinite Justice, is named after "Operation Infinite Justice", the original name for "Operation Enduring Freedom". Likewise, Kira's Freedom is likely named after "Operation Enduring Freedom".
    • Gundam Sentinel names all of its characters after real people from the end of the Shogunate in Japan. For example, protagonist Ryu Roots is named for Ryoma Sakamoto ("moto" being the Japanese word for "root").
    • The Zeta Gundam spinoff Advance of Zeta combines this with Cultural Cross-Reference, as all the experimental mobile suits in it are named for characters from Watership Down.
  • In Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, pretty much everybody (and everything) is named after something from detective fiction. For starters, the heroines are named Sherlock (obvious), Cordelia (as in Gray), Hercule (as in Poirot) and Nero (as in Wolfe).
  • The titular character's father from Kimba The White Lion is named Caesar and one of the villians is named Cassius, which reflected his bitter past with Caesar.



Live Action TV

  • In Kamen Rider Decade, the Suspiciously Similar Substitute versions of the previous Kamen Rider heroes are references to their original series (see Decade's page for details). The biggest exception is Yuusuke Onodera, the alternate Kuuga, who is named for Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori (whose birth name was Shotaro Onodera).
    • Kamen Rider Fourze pulls a similar trick by naming most of the main characters with variations and anagrams of character names from the Showa era seasons of Kamen Rider.
  • As a carryover from the books it's based on, Tristan and Siegfried from All Creatures Great and Small are named such because of the real life James Herriot's love of Richard Wagner operas.
    • That's because those names tend to stick out more in the English countryside than Donald and Brian (their real names)
    • For that matter James Herriot is a shout out as well, this time to a Scottish goalie.
  • The main characters of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger were all named after detective authors.
    • Banban Akaza comes from Agatha Christie.
    • Houji Tomasu comes from Thomas Harris.
    • Sen'ichi Enari comes from Ellery Queen.
    • Marika Reimon comes from Raymond Chandler.
    • Koume Kodou comes from Kodou Nomura.
    • Tekkan Aira comes from Ira Levin.
  • In the new Nickelodeon show Supah Ninjas, there is a character named Katara [1]


  • The different versions of Debian are named after Toy Story characters. There are three concurrent versions: the "stable" version, the "testing" version (which is the next stable version before the bugs get worked out), and the "unstable" version (for the bleeding-edge crowd); the "unstable" version is always called "sid".
  • Versions of Wordpress are named after American jazz musicians.
  • Versions of the Doku wiki are named after characters from Discworld books.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • The four elemental fiends in Final Fantasy IV were originally named for demons from Dante's Inferno — Scarmiglione, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia, and Rubicante. A display issue caused their names to get changed in the English translation, to Milon, Kainazzo, Valvalis, and Rubicant, respectively. All four are also corrected in the official GBA re-release.
  • The Koopalings, debuting in Super Mario Bros 3, are all named after famous musicians.
  • In the English translation of Trauma Center, all the patients have names that are a mix and match of the characters and actors of House, Scrubs, and ER, three popular medical shows.
  • In the Onimusha series of games, the names of the major demon antagonists (excepting Onimusha 2 for some reason) are all taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
    • As does Vagrant Story, with characters named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as antagonists.
  • Most of the important characters of the Devil May Cry series have names based on The Divine Comedy — Dante, Vergil, Trish (shortened from Beatrice), Lucia and Mary ("Lady"). Seven of the demon types that appear in the third game are named for the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Wild Arms 2, like Final Fantasy IV and Devil May Cry above, drew inspiration from the Divine Comedy, as the terrorist organization the party fights through the first arc is named "Cocytus" (the ninth and lowest circle of Hell), with its four main generals named after the concentric zones within: Caina, Antenora, Judecca, and Ptolomea.
  • Metal Gear Solid had a Dave, a Hal, a Frank, a Naomi, and a Miller, and there was a submarine called the Discovery - all names from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • The inhabitants of the Velvet Room from the Persona series have, of all things, theme naming based on Frankenstein. Igor is named for the hunchbacked assistant that became associated with the Frankenstein mythos after Fritz in the Universal film — the name "Igor" probably originally came from the non-hunch-backed assistant from the 1953 version of House of Wax or a conflation of Fritz with Ygor from the Universal films, and was codified as an element of Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein — Nameless for the monster, and Elizabeth for Victor's bride from the novel. Margaret from Persona 4 continues the trend, by being named for the sister of the arctic explorer from the novel. The Odd Name Out is Belladonna — although visually modeled on the Bride from the film Bride of Frankenstein, her name is original. There's also a case to be made for the Demon Artist, but that's more of a title than a name.
    • Theodore is more obscure; assuming he follows the pattern, he's most likely named for — given that he's a male replacement for Elizabeth — Theodore Roszak, who authored Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, but it's possible he's instead named for Theodor von Holst, who did the illustrations for the 1831 edition of Frankenstein.
  • The lead twins of Mother 3 were named after the lead twins of a book called The Notebook. Both stories are about horrible things happening to little boys.
  • Several gangs in River City Ransom (both, NES and GBA versions), most obviously the Home Boys (named after kids in 50's-70's television shows like The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons) in the original.
  • The full names of the two player characters in the original Contra (barring spelling variations), Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, are a mix and match of the names of four actors who appeared in Aliens: Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Michael Biehn in that order.
  • The Lee brothers from the Double Dragon series, as well as the recurring mooks Williams and Rowper, are named after the three main heroes from Enter the Dragon. The arcade version of Double Dragon II even adds two Abobo-like giant mooks named after Mr. Han's henchmen called Oharra and Bolo (although the manual of Mega Drive port identifies the latter as "Abobo", which ruins the shout-out a bit). There's also a female mook named Linda, who seems to be named after Bruce Lee's widow.
  • Two characters in the sci-fi chapter of Live a Live are named Kirk and Darth.
  • In Policenauts, Tony Redwood's dead brother is named "Ridley Redwood". They're both named after two prominent film directors/real life brothers Tony and Ridley Scott.
  • In the English version of Ocarina of Time, the four ghost sisters in the Forest Temple are named Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. They appear again in Majoras Mask.
  • Oh, lord, A Witchs Tale. First, all the Princesses and guardians of the kingdoms are named after characters from fairy tales or the like. Then, we get into the powerful and mysterious Queen Alice, and Liddell — the protagonist, who wants to surpass her, and is implied to be more deeply connected to her than that.
  • Several suspects in the Nancy Drew game White Wolf Of Icicle Creek have lupine-themed names, including Lou Talbot (for Larry Talbot) and Bill Kessler (for David Kessler).
  • Several major suspects and authors of documents in Sherlock Holmes: The Awakening are named after tabletop RPG designers.
  • The two main characters of the NES shoot-em-up S.C.A.T. are not only obvious ripoffs of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver, they are even called "Arnold" and "Sigourney". The European release, Action in New York, gave them new names (Silver Man and Sparks) just in case.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has Beatrice, Virgilia, and Clair Vaux of Bernard.
  • The names of Nina and Anna Williams from Tekken are both references to La Femme Nikita. Anna in particular is named and modeled after actress Anne Parillaud, who played Nikita in the original 1990 French version. Nina's name on the other hand comes from the alias used by Bridget Fonda's character in Point of No Return, the 1993 American remake of Nikita.


Western Animation

  • All of the Tracy children in Thunderbirds are named for the Mercury astronauts. Possibly an in-universe example given that their father used to be an astronaut himself.
  • The second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon featured a fighter called Kluh, from Planet Levram. Later on, his father, Ammag, was introduced, continuing the theme.
    • Not to mention the titular turtles being named after famous painters.
  • Gargoyles has many characters named (and partially based on) Shakespeare characters. The most prominent is Macbeth. Yes, that Macbeth. Inverted in-universe as he's the historical inspiration for Shakespeare's character.
    • Voiced by none other than John Rhys-Davies
  • To say nothing of the gargoyle clan naming themselves after famous sections of New York.

Web Original

Real Life

  • The individual chemical components of bohemic acid are named after characters from La Boheme. They include Marcellomycin, Musettamycin, Rudolphomycin, Mimimycin, Collinemycin and Alcindoromycin.
  • There is a species of dinosaur called Gojirasaurus, which literaly translates into Godzilla Lizard
  • In the American education system, teachers love naming the people in various word problems, fill-in-the blank questions, hypotheticals that you're supposed to write essays about, etc. after one set of characters or another.
  • People sometimes do this with their pets or their children, which can lead to cases of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.
  • Some man-made elements on the Periodic Table include Promethium, Einsteinium, Rutherfordium, Europium, Lutetium, Neptunium, Plutonium, Nobelium, and Lawrencium.
  1. Musashi and Yamato, sister Japanese battleships for the females, and Jirō and Saburō , "second" and "third" sons, respectively