Characters with the same name as people you know IRL = awkward

Does anyone else find it awkward when books characters have the same names as people you know in real life? I do, especially if it’s a family member. I mean, I KNOW said family member isn’t actually supposed to be in the book, but it takes me a while to stop picturing them in the character’s place nonetheless.

For example! One of the X-men has the same name as one of my parents. It took me FOREVER to stop connecting the two of them together, even though they are in no way alike. Also, a children’s book I read ages ago had a character with the name name as my old boss– SO AWKWARD, as one is a elderly cranky person and the other is a 12-year-old hero.

I suppose one good thing about my having a slightly unusual name is that I’ll almost never run into a character with it, except in historical fiction or biographies.1 I find that comforting, as it means I’ll never have to picture myself in all sorts of random books, though I know that other people LIKE seeing characters with their names.

Have you ever run into a character with your name?

  1. Or 50 Shades of Grey. I JUST REMEMBERED THAT omg

7 thoughts on “Characters with the same name as people you know IRL = awkward”

  1. Is one of your parents named Wolverine? Please tell me one of your parents is named Wolverine.

    I not-so-secretly hope I’ll someday encounter a character named Memory, but it hasn’t happened yet. Sadness.

    I do encounter lots of characters who share names with other people I know. Like, there are about a million fictional Matts out there, and every last one of them makes me think of my childhood friend Matt who destroyed my Slinky. All the Mikes put me in mind of my stepgrandpa. All the Davids make me think of one of the many, many Davids I went to school with. (There were so many we had to call them David Whatever-their-last-initial-was. This annoyed my particular Dave no end.) The Sams, male or female, make me think of my first dog. And so on and so forth.

  2. I don’t think this happens for me unless they have the same full name, which is, of course, rare. I did go through my entire copy of The Grapes of Wrath and filled in my then-boyfriend’s first and last name over every instance of the name Wilson, which was his middle name. I later threw away that copy out of embarrassment.
    And I’m with Memory. A parent named Wolverine would be so rad!

  3. SO GLAD YOU ASKED. Characters with my name in fiction are invariably hookers, servants, or dead. Or all three. There are plenty of good songs with the name Jenny in them, but fictional characters? Almost zero. I get very ranty about it. :p

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