There are plenty of acceptable names from pop culture and fiction inspired by books, comics, TV shows, and films. Now, we fully appreciate the need for individualism and creativity for new parents and we don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but there are some baby names that should honestly be avoided to save you and your child the embarrassment. For instance, parents are still naming little boys after Harry Potter characters with names like Draco and Lucius still on the rise in the UK. There are other books out there, we promise!
For starters, Draco and Lucius sound like names of demons and, if memory serves, those were some baddies as far as characters go. What other names should you avoid? Probably most of the names from Game of Thrones, Star Trek, or any other show that features made-up names and that land in the fantasy or science fiction genre. If we haven’t offended your tastes yet, please keep reading. We’ve got 25 baby names for boys inspired by pop culture and fiction that you should absolutely avoid at all costs. Just don’t.
Woody Harrelson is probably one of the few people who can actually pull off this name. While Woody from Toy Story might be your fave, the name isn’t going to catch up to your son with a quickness. Trust us when we tell you that no boy going through puberty would wish for the curse of this name.
We fully appreciate the cultural importance of the Viking hero Ragnar Lodbrok AKA “Ragnar shaggy breeches.” In Europe, we imagine this name is a little easier to pass with, but any name with the word “rag” in it should be a no-go for English-speaking parents.
Alfredo, fine. Alfie, better. Alfonso, we dig it. But, the standalone Alf should send a shiver down your spine. Not only does this name sound like ralph, the slang for vomit, it also belonged to a puppet in a 1980s sitcom. Yes, the friendly alien, ALF is not going to do your child any favors.
Hannibal would be completely fine if it weren’t for the character invented by Thomas Harris and later put to screen in films like Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon. Hannibal Lecter is a disgusting cannibal-villain and romanticizing the name is probably not the best look. Don’t subject your child to years of being called “Hannibal the cannibal.”
Mad Men gave us some truly horrible retro names that should have stayed in the past. There was a character named Duck Phillips and another named Smitty Smith. Please, give us a break. However, by far, the worst we got was Bertram Cooper which sounds like a utility company or a form of transit. Don’t do it.
We’re going to tick you off with this take, but Frodo? Seriously? This frumpy sounding name from The Lord of the Rings universe is pretty unfortunate. We were torn between Frodo and Bilbo and somehow Frodo is worse.
Sorry to all the Perrys out there, but with the remake of Perry Mason on HBO hitting screens earlier this year, we’d like to make sure parents know that Perry is unacceptable. Mason? Fine. Perry? It’s one of the most milquetoast names that doesn’t belong to a contemporary baby boy.
Anakin Sywalker has one heck of a name, we don’t mean that favorably. Of all the Star Wars characters, Anakin really drew the short straw when it comes to the writers’ room penchant for inventing weird names. It’s no good!
Tennessee Williams‘ play and later film adaption of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof features the name Gooper Pollitt. Gooper Pollitt! Gooper Pollitt!? For the love of all that is holy, do not even consider the name Gooper. It’s not an acceptable alternative to Cooper.
Fagin is an Irish name that means “rustic.” Rustic is an understatement! Fagin will forever be associated with the lovable con artist in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Leave this name on the page and do not unleash it onto the real world!
The title character in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Elmer Gantry, Elmer has, at this point, become a joke. Thanks to Elmer Fudd, Elmer’s glue, and Elmer the Cow, you should really, really avoid this silly sounding name. Other parents have followed that advice and the name hasn’t been on the popularity charts since 1937.
Another name in a similar wheelhouse is Gomer. Gomer! Who on earth? Anyway, Gomer is actually a biblical name that means “to complete.” The only thing this name is completing is an exit from our brain. Gomer still hasn’t shaken its bumpkin feel given to the name by Gomer Pyle.
No tea no shade, but Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx Mowgli. Take that as a cautionary tale. Mowgli is a completely invented literary name created by Rudyard Kipling for the beloved character in The Jungle Book. We love Mowgli, not his moniker.
Xorn is a fictional character in the comic X-Men. It is also a name of a clan in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Xorn rhymes with enough embarrassing things that it should be avoided for the sake of your child’s adolescence. Corn, horn, mourn, torn, and a certain word that starts with a P.
Shia LeBeouf‘s character in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was Mutt Williams. Say Mutt!? Please, do not name your child after a mongrel dog.
We don’t know who needs this, but Flipper is not a suitable name for a child. While it belonged to a heroic fictional dolphin, it also was chosen as a character name for Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever. To be clear, the full character name was Flipper Purify.
Slartibartfast is a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He first appeared in the radio series of this universe in “Fit the Third.” Slartibartfast isn’t going to bring your child any good luck on the first day of school or ever.
As we ready ourselves for yet another Stephen King adaptation, we thought it a good time to remind you that Stu is a horrible given name. Stu Redman is the name of a character in The Stand. While the name is a diminutive of the perfectly fine name Stuart, Stu, on its own, sounds like a slowly simmered slop.
As with Ragnar, we want you to know that we’re not just dumping on culturally significant sagas, but we simply think names from them are not the best choices for our little ones today. Beowulf is just too much of a mantle for one little boy to carry on his own.
President Theodore Roosevelt had a son with an unfortunate moniker, Kermit Roosevelt. Aside from that Kermit, there’s also the beloved Muppet, Kermit who brings a lot of children joy. However, this name would not do the same. Kermit is an Irish name with a great meaning, “free man.” Don’t let it tempt you.
Josh Hutcherson’s character in The Hunger Games films is name Peeta Mellark! The first name sounds like pee and the last like malarkey. We would not wish this name on our enemies, so no, you should definitely not use the name Peeta when Peter and Pietro are ripe for the taking.
We tried our best to stay clear of the Game of Thrones names, but we could not let it stand that George RR Martin used the name for a minor character in A Feast for Crows. Rennifer sounds like one of those gossip-page celebrity couple name mashups like Brangelina. Rennifer is just bad. Bad!
No, the name Toseland is for a baby from the land of toes, no, it was used for a character in the Green Knowe series by Lucy M. Boston. Do not do as Boston has done and name a boy Toseland and call him Tolly for short. None of it is right or okay.
Uriah Heep is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his 1850 novel, David Copperfield. Dickens really named that man Uriah Heep. As in “you’re a heap of…” Uriah is a name that sounds like urethra and no one wants that for a name.
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Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is the central antagonist of the 1997 sci-fi action film The Fifth Element. You’ll also find the name used for a character in the hit French film 37° 2 le matin (released as Betty Blue in the US). Either way, Zorg somehow found its place into the writers’ brains and somehow into our ears. No, thank you!
There you go! Avoid these fictional character names and you’ll be doing you and your child a great service. These names are truly the worst and we hope you agree. What character names do you dislike?
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Woody
- 2 24. Ragnar
- 3 23. Alf
- 4 22. Hannibal
- 5 21. Bertram
- 6 20. Frodo
- 7 19. Perry
- 8 18. Anakin
- 9 17. Gooper
- 10 16. Fagin
- 11 15. Elmer
- 12 14. Gomer
- 13 13. Mowgli
- 14 12. Xorn
- 15 11. Mutt
- 16 10. Flipper
- 17 9. Slartibartfast
- 18 8. Stu
- 19 7. Beowulf
- 20 6. Kermit
- 21 5. Peeta
- 22 4. Rennifer
- 23 3. Toseland
- 24 2. Uriah
- 25 1. Zorg
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