Published Dec 02, 2016BabyCenter has released its list of most popular baby names for 2016, and it seems like parents are turning to unlikely sources for baby-naming inspiration. According to the latest list, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and Suicide Squad are responsible for upticks in popularity of particular names this year.
The kids from Stranger Things are pretty awesome, so it only makes sense that soon-to-be parents would want to imbue their own offspring with that charm by naming them after the onscreen characters. It seems like a bit of a stretch to say that the 28 percent increase in kids named Mike is solely due to Stranger Things protagonist Mike Wheeler, but the 32 percent rise in Dustins is certainly, uh, strange.
Lucas, meanwhile, was listed as the third most popular boys name. Surprisingly, the name Joyce also saw a jump (up 23 percent), which could be credited to Winona Ryder's motherly character of the same name. Thankfully missing from the list, though, was the name Eleven. And Barb, poor Barb.
Parents have also been mining The Walking Dead for ideas when it comes to naming kids, with Tyreese up 48 percent, Hershel up 37 percent and Carol up 18 percent.
Even American Horror Story characters are having homage paid; the name Iris saw a 16 percent increase in popularity over the last 12 months.
"Today's parents grew up watching Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and they're not freaked out by horror — they relish it," BabyCenter's global editor in chief, Linda Murray, said in a press release. "To them, scary series are like soap operas. They get emotionally attached to characters and root for them."
Other notably more popular names drew inspiration from superhero franchises, like The Hulk's Banner rising 48 percent, Harley of Suicide Squad up 35 percent, Scarlett (like Johannson, who starred in The Avengers and Captain America) up 20 percent, Iron Man alias Tony up 16 percent and Jessica (presumably in reference to Jessica Jones) up 9 percent.
The list's accompanying press release didn't note any specific musical affiliations, though Aubrey, Aaliyah, Ellie, Arianna, and both Adalyn and Adeline all made it into the top 50 girls names — perhaps in homage to chart topping artists like Drake, Aaliyah, Ellie Goulding, Ariana Grande and Adele. The most popular name for little dudes was Jackson (potentially an ode to the late great Michael), while Dylan made it into the top 50 (probably thanks to moms and dads that were fond of folk great Bob).
Find the full list of 2016's most popular baby names here.