Naming Your Kids After Television Shows: Probably Not the Best Idea

Who wants to name their kids after fictionalized television drug dealers? Apparently, lots of folks. Last week, The Independent reported that there has been a surge in baby names based on popular television shows. According to the report Breaking Bad's Skyler and Jesse are in the top 100 baby names of the year and are moving up the charts. Skyler, the emotionally abused wife of meth kingpin Walter White increased in popularity by 70 percent and drug-doing and dealing "Bitch"-phrase loving Jesse is up by 13 percent.

That's not the half of it. The name Brody, which is not a name but rather the last name of the main character on Showtime's Homeland, is up by 40 percent and has made its way into the top 100 baby names. Carrie, the show's cray cray CIA agent and Dana, Brody's screwed-up daughter are up by 200 percent and 66 percent respectively. Know that with these names your children are destined to have bi-polar disorder or clean toilets in crappy motels (according to the show).

While these are fairly normal sounding names, Brody aside, the hits just keep on coming. The name Arya, the tomboy Stark daughter from HBOs Game of Thrones is also now on the chart, rising 183 percent in popularity, most likely because no one named their kid that ever before. Adding to the insanity is the fact that according to the article the first baby named Sansa was registered this year as well.

As someone who is currently playing the "what should we name our baby" game, I am all for finding inspiration in bizarre places. My husband wants to name one of our babies Throatpunch, which is an awful metal band. People have been naming their children after characters in books for years. Just three years ago there was a huge rise in the name Bella after the character in the book piece of writing paper with words on it, Twilight. My own kid sister is named after the daughter of Samwise Gamgee from The Hobbit who is named after a flower; talk about nerdy. (I know Arya is really a character from a book, but let's not kid ourselves that most people are consumers of the television show and not the novels.)

I wonder if in 20 years all those Aryas and Brodys are going to watch the television shows that spawned their namesakes and think that their parents were probably smoking too much legalized weed. Will they be totally embarrassed alongside their classmates Katniss and Tris (yeah, I know the Divergent series, what?)? I imagine we'll find a whole generation of kids who rebel against their own hipster-TV loving 'rents by naming their kids Bob and Mary.

If we are going to name our kids after television characters, and why the hell not, here are five more for you that I think should be reintroduced into society.


Charles In Charge's beloved goofy and slightly moronic sidekick Buddy Lembeck was never a popular guy. Always chasing after some girl with teased hair and getting Charles into trouble, naming your child Buddy, however, means they will always be the life of the party. And you know that their real name will be Buddence; Buddy is just a nickname.


I am fully aware that MacGyver's real name is Angus, but who in the hell wants to name their kid Angus? No one wants to be named after a healthier beef option. This is why MacGyver calls himself just that and the name MacGyver has taken on exceptional connotations in American culture. They say when a brand becomes a verb, you have totally won and if your baby's name becomes a verb - "he totally MacGyvered that pacifier" - you are the awesomest parents in the world.

Lynn Belvedere

Lynn is traditionally a female name and has seen its popularity come and go, but naming your baby boy Lynn, and furthermore naming your baby boy Lynn Belvedere is so ironically hipster that the baby is guaranteed to come out of the womb with a mustache and a British accent.


I went on a Google mission to find how many children were named Milhouse during The Simpsons boom of the late '80s, early '90s and was shocked to find that no one deemed this an appropriate name for their children. What I did find out was that Milhous was the middle name of former President Richard Nixon as based on the maiden name of his mother. So, what the world is trying to say by not naming their children Milhouse is that they find neither the super geeky best friend of Bart Simpson nor our former disgraced president a suitable inspiration. Weird.


Maybe Rhoda wasn't the wonder woman that Mary Tyler Moore was, but she had gumption and there's not a lot of that going around these days. Our kids need gumption! Rhoda is sort of a throwback '70s name, adding to that, Valerie Harper, who portrayed the iconic character, is a star-dancing cancer survivor; let's get some Rhodas on the 2014 baby name list, and do it for Valerie Harper.

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