Last names that are widely recognizable as only fictional characters?
January 2, 2019 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Give me some last names that are instantly and widely recognizable as being fictional characters and only fictional characters. Good examples: Baggins, Skywalker, McFly. Bad examples: Wayne (Bruce), Bond (James), Jones (Indiana). The latter set could all conceivably be real names and the joke doesn't land.

A friend of mine has a custom sports jersey that reads "Baggins," and I want my own.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (76 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Weezly and Malfoy
posted by soelo at 9:17 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Valjean?
posted by Melismata at 9:19 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


Flintstone
Badenov
Do-Right
posted by bondcliff at 9:20 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


Similarly, Jetson.

I guess it's not a last name but I'd be tempted by Ishmael.
posted by praemunire at 9:22 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Beeblebrox
posted by Julnyes at 9:23 AM on January 2 [11 favorites]


Protagonist (as in Hiro).
posted by tobascodagama at 9:26 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


McLovin
posted by ODiV at 9:27 AM on January 2 [14 favorites]


Jetson, Boop, Bunny [Bugs et al.], many Harry Potter characters (Snape, Dumbledore, Weasley, Malfoy, Grindelwald, Flitwick, Filch, Lovegood, Slughorn, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor), Leghorn (also a type of chicken breed).
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:27 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I had a bad habit of getting Game of Thrones names on custom jerseys. I even ironed on my own Flayed Man on my Bolton Wanderers shirt.

You can also consider horror icons - while Voorhees and Krueger are real names, they are mostly identified as killers. Dracula and Frankenstein work as well.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:28 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Magoo
posted by mean square error at 9:29 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Frankenstein
Van Helsing
Quatermass
Moriarty
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:30 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Kenobi
Palpatine
Strange (as in Doctor Strange, that is his actual surname)
Solo
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:33 AM on January 2


Blofeld
posted by LizardBreath at 9:34 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


McBain
Krabappel
Krustofsky
Wiggum
Flanders
Quimby
Spuckler
Van Houten
posted by General Malaise at 9:35 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


This is fun! Just shooting down the list of books I read last year, a few that could work...

Starling
Lecter
Watney
Nedry
Everdeen
Trinket
Marple
Poirot
Golightly
Salander
posted by phunniemee at 9:35 AM on January 2


Garp. Hornblower. Wimsey. Crusoe.
posted by ClingClang at 9:39 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Riker, Troi. I don't know how Klingon family work - Mogh or Martok? Kirk maybe.
posted by mustardayonnaise at 9:50 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Around half of Dickens' characters would fit the bill nicely.
posted by pipeski at 9:50 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Poldark
posted by sk932 at 9:56 AM on January 2


Jekyll
posted by brainmouse at 9:59 AM on January 2


Scrooge.
posted by girlmightlive at 10:05 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


McDuck.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:07 AM on January 2 [11 favorites]


Slightly beside the point, there are many literary jerseys to choose from here: https://www.novel-t.com/
I bought my sister a Bartleby tee from there which she quite liked.
posted by dotparker at 10:12 AM on January 2


Beetlejuice
posted by icy_latte at 10:15 AM on January 2


Moneypenny

(But note that some of the examples provided so far might not meet your requirements. For example there are plenty of real-life notable people named Moriarty and Strange.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:22 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Granger
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:25 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


Bickle (Travis Bickle. )

Blutarsky (John Bluto Blutarsky)
posted by AugustWest at 10:26 AM on January 2


Targaryen
Lannister
Baratheon
Snow?

Goldfinger
Goldmember
Exposition
Quimby
posted by Night_owl at 10:26 AM on January 2


Corleone, Lebowski, Ketchum, Gump, Soprano, d'Artagnan, Poppins?
posted by turkeybrain at 10:29 AM on January 2


MacGyver
posted by vunder at 10:29 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Clouseau
Malaprop
Dangerously
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:33 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Scully and Mulder!
posted by vivzan at 10:42 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


If you want to double check the rarity of specific surname is, try this website. The link goes to the "Lh-Lz" page where I confirmed there are Loveday and Lovegreen but no Lovegood in the 2000 US Census
posted by metahawk at 10:55 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


Funkhouser
posted by AugustWest at 11:25 AM on January 2


Atreides
Harkonnen
Corrino
posted by protorp at 11:28 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Wonka
Slugworth
Teevee
Gloop
posted by theory at 11:35 AM on January 2


Shellstrop
Horseman
Baudelaire
Belcher
Archer, Figgis, Poovey, Tunt
Scissorhands
Dredd
posted by castlebravo at 11:38 AM on January 2


Havisham
Bovary
posted by mochapickle at 11:40 AM on January 2


Caulfield
Garp
posted by Thorzdad at 11:41 AM on January 2


Vetinari.

Wodehouse has a bunch, as does Dickens.
posted by BWA at 11:46 AM on January 2


Shaft
posted by AndrewInDC at 11:53 AM on January 2


A friend of mine has a custom sports jersey that reads "Baggins," and I want my own.

In that vein: Oakenshield, Halfelven, Gamgee
posted by 445supermag at 12:07 PM on January 2


McGarnagle.
posted by ZipRibbons at 12:13 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I wish some of you would try harder to verify that there aren't real people with these names. For instance: McBain. And come on -- Caulfield? Archer?

I doubt that there is anyone named Slartybartfast.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:16 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


For example there are plenty of real-life notable people named Moriarty and Strange.

I wouldn't say there are 'plenty' of famous people named Solo, but, if I saw it on a soccer jersey, I wouldn't think of Harrison Ford.
posted by box at 12:25 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Iscariot
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 12:27 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Prufrock.
posted by effluvia at 12:47 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Widmerpool
posted by JonJacky at 12:55 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Yonderboy
posted by humboldt32 at 1:10 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Psmith
Jeeves
Scrubb
posted by M. at 1:21 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Clampett
Weatherwax
Killmonger
posted by TwoStride at 1:26 PM on January 2


McFly is both a real surname, and liable to confuse people who think you mean the pop group (named after the fictional character).
posted by w0mbat at 1:45 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Tintin
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:58 PM on January 2


minchin
posted by brujita at 2:17 PM on January 2


Ramone seems like it should be a bad example but I think any jersey with Ramone would immediately and only bring to mind the punk rock band.

Stardust
Gaga
Dogg
posted by mullacc at 3:04 PM on January 2


Hotspur is a family's nickname, not its actual name.

While "Pew" is a family name, "Le Pew" from Looney Tunes is made up, as far as I know. I would definitely chuckle if I saw 2 guys wearing shirts that said Baggins and Le Pew.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 3:05 PM on January 2


Portnoy.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 3:09 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumble-meyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mitzweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm
posted by bondcliff at 3:12 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


you all forgot about the esteemed Mr. Squarepants
posted by forforf at 3:42 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


Fry, Bender, Zoidberg, Farnsworth, Morbo, Scruffy, Nibbler
Horseman, Peanutbutter, Spanikopita
Niedermyer, Nerdlinger
Blofeld, Gruber, No, Scaramanga
Powers, "Dr Evil" (must include air quotes), Goldmember, Mustafa, Fat Bastard, Mini-Me
Burgundy, Corningstone
Venture, Quizboy, Ünderbheit, Samson, Orpheus, Manstrong, Impossible, Dr Girlfriend/Boyfriend

... and of course, the #1 name, 'Alan Smithee'
posted by zaixfeep at 3:46 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Tribbiani.
posted by Charity Garfein at 3:58 PM on January 2


Gatsby
Minderbinder

Gambolputty de von Ausfern...

Eventually anglicized (because the cattle kept dying).
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:05 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Ooh ooh I got this one: Mxyzptlk.

(This is top of mind for me because I was recently matched with a Lyft driver with that name displayed on their account. I considered and immediately rejected the possibility it was their real, legal name.)
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:19 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


445supermag: "In that vein: Oakenshield, Halfelven, Gamgee"

Half-elven is a descriptive, not a surname. Same with Oakenshield.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:33 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Vader.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:11 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Frankenstein
posted by vunder at 10:39 PM on January 2


Threepwood
posted by Skybly at 11:37 PM on January 2


Incandenza
posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:10 AM on January 3


Simpsons: Shabadoo
Buckaroo Banzi:
Priddy
Whorfin
Lizardo
Catburd
and, of course, Bigbooté
posted by Homer42 at 6:49 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


>I doubt that there is anyone named
Slartybartfast.
Or
Slartibartfast
posted by Homer42 at 7:18 AM on January 3


Baskerville.
posted by SemiSalt at 7:33 AM on January 3


Jingleheimer Schmidt
posted by vunder at 9:36 AM on January 3


I think a lot of these overestimate the breadth of the fanbase. There aren't that many that truly universal. What is YOUR cultural context? That matters.

I also think we are finally getting to a point where white people are actually supposed to be respectful and open to unfamiliar names, and not make assumptions. Also not make fun of each other's names.

I would not assume that Baggins couldn't be a real name, if I saw it in a context where someone might wear their real name with pride.

So...

Can you do a first initial??

Otherwise I'd think about the context where you are going to wear your jersey, and carefully calibrate.
posted by Salamandrous at 5:59 PM on January 3


flibbertigibbet: "Bunny [Bugs et al.],"

While Bunny isn't normally a last name there are plenty of people named Bunny Foo and as a name on a jersey it might not be obvious that one is using Bunny as a last name and not a first name.
posted by Mitheral at 10:57 PM on January 4


Earbrass
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:02 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I just saw a geologist on the Science Channel whose last name is Goldfinger.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:54 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


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