Baby names shared by classic TV show characters
It is safe to say that ever since the arrival of accessible pop culture into the home, parents have been finding ways to incorporate their fandom into their everyday lives. According to Nielsen’s National Television Household Universe Estimates, a whopping 119.6 million homes in the U.S. had television sets during the 2017–2018 TV season. The figures, taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, were combined with information from the national TV panel to examine the country’s ongoing love affair with TV and find out how the popularity of television has progressed throughout history. The study also found that the percentage of total U.S. homes with televisions that receive signals via broadcast, cable, DBS, Telco, or broadband internet connection increased by 0.5% from the prior year’s estimate up to 96.5%.
That being said, it's no surprise that many Americans have continued to take inspiration from their favorite TV show characters when it comes to important life choices, such as choosing the perfect baby name—whether it is on purpose or subconsciously.
Stacker looked at 50 baby names shared by classic TV show characters and used 2018 data from the Social Security Administration (released in 2019) to determine their popularity today. We dug even deeper and investigated each character's significance on the specific television show, the etymology of the name, where it comes from, and the history behind it. We also examined anything significant about the show or the actor portraying the character to give our readers even more background and context.
Read on to find out if your name made the list, and which famous character you share it with. Compare the years or generation that the show or characters were active with your birth year, and you may even discover that you were named after a TV star after all!
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- TV Show: "Taxi"
- Character: Alex Reiger
- Today's rank: #153 (2,505 babies born)
Played by American actor Judd Hirsch, Alex Reiger was the name of a fan-favorite taxi driver on the hit show, “Taxi” (on air from 1978–1983). Besides the obvious gender-neutral convenience, the name Alex is from English origin and means “Defender of the People”—not a bad way to come into the world if you ask us.
- TV Show: "The Andy Griffith Show"
- Character: Andrew "Andy" Taylor
- Today's rank: #43 (7,234 babies born)
Everyone remembers “The Andy Griffith Show,” created by Andy Griffith, who also played the main character of the same first name. The family-friendly program ran for eight seasons and captured the hearts of viewers all throughout the United States along the way. The name Andrew is of Greek origin meaning “manly” and can be found in many historic texts.
- TV Show: "The Sopranos"
- Character: Anthony "Tony" Soprano
- Today's rank: #38 (8,003 babies born)
Popularized in the early 2000s and headlined by late actor James Gandolfini who played New Jersey mob boss Anthony “Tony” Soprano, there isn’t a fan without an opinion about this controversial series’ finale in 2007. The name Anthony comes from Latin origin, but the exact meaning of the name is unknown.
- TV Show: "All in the Family"
- Character: Archibald "Archie" Bunker
- Today's rank: #2,052 (69 babies born)
Archibald comes from English origin and means “truly bold,” with stars such as Archibald Leach (aka Cary Grant) helping to raise the unique name to popularity in the States. The hit show “All in the Family” ran from 1971 to 1979, with Carroll O'Connor at the helm playing bull-headed family man, Archie Bunker.
- TV Show: "The Facts of Life"
- Character: Blair Warner
- Today's rank: #432 (723 babies born)
Lisa Whelchel played the part of Blair Warner from 1979–1988 on “The Facts of Life,” a spin-off of the NBC comedy “Diff'rent Strokes.” Blair was blonde, preppy, and one of the main students at the boarding school where the show took place. The name Blair is unisex and of Scottish origin, meaning “plain” or “field,” so it’s safe to say that most parents didn’t choose the name for the meaning.
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- TV Show: "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
- Character: Carlton Banks
- Today's rank: #2,177 (63 babies born)
The lovable, often-flustered cousin of Will Smith’s character in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Carlton Banks was an instrumental character to the popular ‘90s sitcom. Played by Alfonso Ribeiro, Carton had a relationship with his cousin that could only be described as wildly entertaining. Carlton comes from the English “From the town of the free men.”
- TV Show: "Punky Brewster"
- Character: Cherie Johnson
- Today's rank: #7,042 (16 babies born)
The show mainly responsible for the 1990s classic “Family Matters," "Punky Brewster” was a comedy set in Chicago. Cherie Johnson played Punky's best friend, also named Cherie Johnson, before going on to play Maxine Johnson in “Family Matters” years later. Cherie is a French-originated name meaning “dear,” and is most often used for female babies.
- TV Show: "Hawaii Five-O "
- Character: Chin Ho Kelly
- Today's rank: N/A (Less than 5 babies born)
The name Chin spanned decades on television as the name of detective Chin Ho Kelly in the original “Hawaii Five-0” from 1968 to 1980 and again on the show’s reboot starting in 2010. The name itself originates in the Chinese language, meaning "golden.”
- TV Show: "Three's Company"
- Character: Christmas Noelle "Chrissy" Snow
- Today's rank: #13,693 (06 babies born)
It’s not hard to guess the origin of the name “Christmas,” literally meaning “Christ-feast” and of English origin. Christmas Noelle Snow, aka "Chrissy,” was a character on “Three’s Company” (1977–1984) played by Suzanne Somers. And, according to fans of the show, the reason why Chrissy’s parents gave her such a festively unique name is up for debate.
- TV Show: "Six Feet Under"
- Character: Claire Fisher
- Today's rank: #49 (4,379 babies born)
Actress Lauren Ambrose played the character of Claire Fisher on the show “Six Feet Under” that ran from 2001 to 2005. The character was the youngest child and only daughter in the Fisher family, who ran a funeral home in Los Angeles that the show was based around.
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