As an author, I can promise you that most people who write fiction – any kind of fiction – take naming their characters very seriously.
You’ll rarely meet a writer of any walk who will shrug and say they just picked a name because they liked it.
The names don’t always have a deeper or secret meaning, but sometimes – like in these 14 cases – they definitely do.
14. Ethan Chase in Joker.
In Joker — directed by Todd Phillips — Murray Franklin introduces a guest on his show as an actor named “Ethan Chase.”
Ethan Chase was the name of Zack Galifianakis’s character in Todd Phillips’ earlier film Due Date.
13. Duncan and Wynnchel in Wreck It Ralph.
In Wreck-It Ralph, the two donut police officers — Duncan and Wynnchel — are named after the famous donut chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Winchell’s Donut House.
12. Seth and Evan in Superbad.
In Superbad, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are named after the film’s screenwriters, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, who started writing the script when they were teenagers.
11. The Bakers in Cheaper by the Dozen.
In Cheaper by the Dozen (a movie about a family with 12 kids), the family’s last name is Baker — a reference to the term “a baker’s dozen.”
10. Charles Muntz in Up.
In Up, the villain, Charles Muntz, is allegedly named after Charles Mintz, the real-life film producer with whom Walt Disney had a strained relationship (and whose professional relationship ended acrimoniously).
9. Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson in Dumb & Dumber.
In Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas is desperate to be with Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), who he has no chance with.
If they did get married, though, her new name would be Mary Christmas — another reason why things were unlikely to ever work between the two.
8. Davis in Rampage.
In Rampage, whenever Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character Davis uses sign language to identify himself to the gorilla George, he signs “Rock” instead of “Davis.”
7. The Incredibles.
In The Incredibles, the last name of Mr. and Mrs. Incredibles’ family is Parr — because they want everyone to think they are average.
6. Mark Bellison in The Invention of Lying.
In The Invention of Lying, a movie about a world where everyone tells the truth, Ricky Gervais plays a guy named Mark Bellison who tells the very first lie.
“M. Bellison” — which we see written on his office door — sounds a lot like ’embellishing,’ which is another form of dishonesty.
5. The Fratelli Brothers in The Goonies.
In The Goonies, the bad guys were named the Fratelli Brothers. In Italian, “Fratelli” means “brothers,” so the filmmakers (having a little fun, I imagine) basically named them “the Brothers Brothers.”
4. Han Seoul-Oh in the Fast and the Furious.
In the Fast and Furious franchise, Han Lue is briefly revealed to go by the alias Han Seoul-Oh, a reference to the Star Wars character Han Solo.
3. Baby Susie in Elf.
In Elf, Buddy (Will Ferrell) and Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) name their baby Susie — likely to honor Buddy’s biological mom, Susan Wells, who passed away after giving Buddy up for adoption.
2. Sharon Stone in The Flintstones.
In The Flintstones, Halle Berry plays a secretary named Sharon Stone.
This name choice was more than just another “stone/rubble” joke (coupled with a modern reference).
She was named that because the role was originally intended for Sharon Stone herself, but she was unable to do it.
1. The cab driver in Deadpool.
In Deadpool, the cab driver character is named Dopinder in tribute to a “really cool friend” of Ryan Reynolds’ from grade school who tragically died after being struck by lightning.
I never would have figured some of these out on my own!
What’s the biggest aha! moment you’ve ever had with something like this? Tell us about it in the comments!