TV Baby Names: A short history of telebabies

Ever since Little Ricky’s birth on I Love Lucy coincided with the birth of real life Desi Arnaz, Jr (aka Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV) —which was celebrated on the cover of the very first issue of TV Guide in 1953—audiences have been interested in the arrivals—and names, of course– of TV babies.

Some of these babies had names that were typical of their eras, while others were newer and more influential. Some of the newborns were allowed to grow up, while others remained babies, some were merely plot devices that quickly vanished. One of the names was important enough to be featured in the show’s title—Hope on Raising Hope.
Here, in rough reverse chronological order, are some of the most memorable TV baby names:


Amy---Up All Night

Picture 14 of 14

At first Amy seems like an oddly retro choice for this contemporary show—after all, Amy’s run as a Top 10 name was from 1969 to 1982-- until you realize it might well have been inspired by co-star Will Arnett’s wife, Amy Poehler, mother of their sons Archibald and Abel, making it a sweet tribute.

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12 Responses to “TV Baby Names: A short history of telebabies”

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Poppy528 Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 1:23 am

Cool list! Changing name to Francesca. 😉

Holly is the baby born to Skylar White in Breaking Bad. Seems more likely for mom to be Holly and have a little Skylar though (mom is born early 70s & name didn’t rank in top 1000 for boys til 81), hmmm

pam Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 7:24 am

You’re right, Poppy. There is this weird phenomenon of fictional characters, especially on TV, having names that are way ahead of their time, more appropriate for a baby or at least a teenager than a 35-year-old. (Anyone over 35 on TV seems to get a name more appropriate for an 80-year-old.)

But then the babies sometimes get names that evidence just how removed from actual baby naming television writers and producers often are!

shieldsc Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 8:48 am

Oh no! I didn’t know about baby Harrison on Dexter. Harrison is on my boys’ name list because I like it with my other son’s name (Alexander). 😉

Great list! I have always had a soft spot for Tabitha.

andreachristine Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 9:22 am

I still get mad about Emma on Friends… how did that overlook that Ross’s ex-wife was Emily?

aqua_girl Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 10:29 am

Even though it’s super trendy around here, I’m having a weird name crush on Avery for a little boy right now. Probably because it’s the only name my husband has mentioned with any enthusiasm in the past 14 weeks, lol. It’s on the list, but it’s not a definite qualifier yet. 🙂

lineska Says:

July 27th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

@andreachristine, I wondered that too.

Plus that was some serious name-stealing on Friends, I never understood how Monica just gave Rachel the name!

ninanoo Says:

July 28th, 2012 at 10:43 am

Aww I was looking for How I Met Your Mother, Baby Marvin!

ninanoo Says:

July 28th, 2012 at 10:48 am

I still get mad about Emma on Friends… how did that overlook that Ross’s ex-wife was Emily?

^^ Maybe it was because Rachel and Ross were not in a relationship so Rachel didn’t worry about it all that much. Maybe she was just so desperate for a name she picked the first one that sounded good, also a fun case of name stealing. lol

AmandaChristine Says:

July 28th, 2012 at 11:26 am

I was looking for baby Marvin from How I Met Your Mother too!!!

skizzo Says:

July 30th, 2012 at 6:52 pm

One Tree Hill has a habit of giving girls masculine names…

GrecianErn Says:

October 25th, 2012 at 11:49 am

I always thought One Tree Hill had decent baby names. And i loved how all the girls named their babies with their maiden names! I thought that it showed strong female characters.

Jamie – James Lucas Scott – after mom Hailey James, and uncle Lucas. that was super cool in my opinion.

Lydia – after Hailey’s mom… a little before her time I think.

I loved Sawyer – not on a girl, but I completely understood how it worked on Peyton’s baby girl.

Davis & Jude – Brooke’s twin boys had great names, with Davis having mom’s maiden name. And Jude was way ahead of its time. I love the name.

Coincidentally, my cousin Samantha is named after Elizabeth Montgomery’s character in Bewitched. And i love Tabitha. just not the Tabby nn.

CarriePo Says:

January 27th, 2017 at 12:57 pm

What about Facts of Life when Blaire’s mom names her new baby girl Bailey. Bailey was unheard-of for girls but became quite popular in the following decade.

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