Pop culture has a big influence on what we choose to name our kids so it’s no surprise that some parents are inspired by their favorite television characters when choosing a baby name. What you may find curious is that some of the characters’ parents choose to honor are not necessarily the most heroic or valiant!

©istockphoto.com/katleho Seisa

In a new study, researchers looked at the 50 most popular TV shows according to IMDb and delved into government data to look at unique names with less than 20,000 instances. The researchers looked for unique names “to ensure that we avoided common names such as Rachel and Ross” said the study authors.

Shockingly, the top three names for boys were all named after villainous TV characters! In the number one spot for boys was Walter from “Breaking Bad,” followed by Jax from “Sons of Anarchy” and Dexter, the title character and serial killer from the popular drama.

For girls, the number one name inspired by a TV character was Arya from “Game of Thrones,” followed by Meredith and then Lexie, both from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Is your child named after a character? Which TV character would you choose for your next (theoretical) baby name? Tell us in the comments and in the meantime, check out the full list!


The top ten US baby boy names, inspired by TV characters are:


Rank Name TV Show No. of babies
1 Walter Breaking Bad 17,423
2 Jax Sons of Anarchy 15,813
3 Dexter Dexter 9,075
4 Joey Friends 7,898
5 Stefan The Vampire Diaries 4,843
6 Glenn The Walking Dead 4,213
7 Sheldon The Big Bang Theory 3,931
8 Dwight The Office 2,787
9 Rick Rick and Morty 2,071
10 Creed The Office 1,982


The top ten US baby girl names, inspired by TV characters are:


Rank Name TV Show No. of babies
1 Arya Game of Thrones 13,586
2 Meredith Grey’s Anatomy 13,499
3 Lexie Grey’s Anatomy 9,869
4 Lyra His Dark Materials 3,363
5 Joey Friends 2,614
6 Khaleesi Game of Thrones 2,528
7 Shae Game of Thrones 2,381
8 Carmela The Sopranos 1,985
9 Catelyn Game of Thrones 1,403
10 Bellamy The 100 1,369