Can You Think of Characters Named for a Fan of the Series?

I can think of two examples of characters being named for devout fans of a TV series. First, there’s Leyla Harrison. In the later seasons of the X-Files, Leyla Harrison was an FBI agent/professional Mulder/Scully fangirl who spent an episode hanging out with Doggett and chirping about how wonderful her Favorite Agents were. In real life, Leyla was a Mulder/Scully fangirl who ran a fanfiction website before dying of cancer at a very young age. Chris Cooper created Leyla the character as a tribute.

Another example: Pamela Barnes is a psychic on Supernatural. Her eyes were burned out when she gazed upon the true form of Castiel, but that hasn’t stopped her from groping Sam and Dean’s asses. RL Pamela Barnes is a mod in the Supernatural board at Television Without Pity who would probably poke out her own eyes for the chance to grope Dean’s ass.

What are some other examples of creators naming a character after a fan?

It’s called Tuckerization. Used to happen fairly often in science fiction.

A friend of mine (a well-known fan) was tuckerized in one of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders novels.

Here’s a list of tuckerizations in the Legion of Superheroes comics.

Jordan LaForge was a fan who got a character on Star Trek: TNG.

I believe the real LaForge also died at a young age, yes?


I knew the person for whom the character Kozak in ST: DS9 was named. She got to know producer Rick Berman, and submitted some spec scripts (none were accepted AFAIK), so he named Kozak after her. (It was her last name, obviously.)

I’ve never heard of Tuckerization before - didn’t know that this phenomenon had a name. Very cool.

Piers Anthony wrote Jenny into a Xanth character. Jenny was a 12 year old fan who had been severely injured in a drunk driving accident. Her mother contacted Anthony and asked him to write a letter she could read to Jenny to keep her spirits up (Jenny being a fan.) He actually wrote a whole bunch of letters over some span of time, which were later published as Letters to Jenny, and also inserted Jenny into Xanth, beginning with Isle of View and…I don’t know for how long, because I grew out of that phase.

In a related story, the Epic Megagames* classic PC top-down shooter, Tyrian, had a number of characters named after those of us who frequented their CompuServe board. (Or whatever CompuServe called those damn things. I forgot the word. I just remember typing GO EPICGAMES all the time.)

  • Fairly obscure at the time, but later famous for the Unreal series of first-person shooters.

Geordi. His legal name was George.

Natalie McDonald, a very, very minor character in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was named for a nine-year-old fan who died of leukemia.

I was going to suggest Star Trek’s Suliban, as I was sure someone on the boards had said they were named after someone called Sullivan, a friend of someone in the studio. Wikipedia says they were named after the Taleban (pre 9/11 attacks) but I can’t find the cite from the linked Memory Alpha article.

“Saturday Night Live” writers are constantly naming characters after either friends, relatives, acquaintances and fans of the show’s stars and writers.

Remember how Rosanne Rosannadanna was always getting letters from “Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey”? That was a real person- the brother-in-law of one of the writers.

After Chris Farley died, I Was shocked to see that his funeral Mass would be said by a priest named… Matt Foley! Farley named one of his most famous characters after a friend of his from Marquette University. That friend had become a Catholic priest, and later presided at Farley’s funeral.

Here in Austin, there’s a radio DJ I know (not well; we’re acquaintances rather than friends) named Dale Dudley. Years back, when Matt Damon was scheduled to host, he said he’d been told by an “SNL” writer to watch closely during the Brian Fellows sketch.

Sure enough, Brian Fellows (Tracy Morgan) brought on a zookeeper played by Horatio Sanz. Sanz said, “Hi, I’m Dale Dudley from the Texas Wildlife Preserve in Austin.”

I’m told David Weber inserts fans fairly often; as a reward for being the first to spot a mistake he’ll toss in a minor character named after them.

It’s not quite a “series”, but in the game City of Heroes, the NPC contact Coyote in the tutorial is a homage to a person prominent in the beta forums who died before the game went open.

Of course, there is too the fact that the Taleban are unlikely to be Trekkies :smack:

Funny you mention the X Files since Scully was named for the Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.


This is kind of the opposite of including a friend or fan’s name - in the new Battlestar Galactica, the Six aboard the Pegasus is called Gina, a little poke in the eye to fans of the original series who had taken to derisively calling the new series “GINO” (Galactica In Name Only).

There are a couple of NPCs in WoW who are named after a couple of fans who helped a lot during development and beta testing. Of course, they’re named after their former EQ characters, not after their actual names…

In Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Footfall, the government employs a number of science fiction writers as technical advisors to help deal with an alien invasion. These writers are thinly veiled real science fiction writers, including “Bob and Virginia Anson,”, a particularly clear homage to Robert and Virginia Heinlein. It’s a reverse Tuckerization, I suppose- the authors are Heinlein fans, so they write him into one of their stories.

There is a recurring bit on Late Night With Conan O’Brien called “Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage” where one of the show’s graphic designers sits in a recliner and gripes for a bit about minute details of some comic book or science fiction story, or even just mundane things like certain products he likes that have been discontinued. (The humor is all in his unpolished delivery and general geekiness). Anyway, he notably “raged” once about Stargate SG1 being better off without Michael Shanks. The Stargate people loved the attention and invited him to the set. Eventually he wound up playing a bit part character named “O’Brien” who appeared in a couple of episodes. Of course, his visits to the SG1 set were documented and shown on Late Night in comedy segments. Fun stuff!