Bella, Katniss, Tigger, and More: 8 Pet Names Influenced by Pop Culture

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Hollywood and pop culture have a ton of influence over our lives, whether we realize it or not. Trends and fads are dictated by our favorite celebrities or the characters they play. And one area in which pop culture has a surprising amount of swing is pet names.

While there will always be the old standbys (Max, Buddy, Lucy, etc.), every so often, a movie or TV show becomes such a massive part of the zeitgeist that suddenly there are more dogs named Bella than you can count. 2013 was rich with such names:

Katniss

America’s love affair with Jennifer Lawrence has recently spread into the pet world, with fans of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games series naming their new pets after her character, Katniss. Not surprisingly, this name has really taken off with lady cats (due to the obvious play on words) but there are also more than a few puppies running around with this name (and probably a handful of babies, too).

Lily

This popular pet name crops up in a number of TV shows (How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family). Lily is also the name of Harry Potter’s mother — and who wouldn’t want to name their pet after the woman who so bravely gave her life for her son?

Tigger

The fact that this name is still making the charts shows just how much of an imprint the Winnie the Pooh series has left on us. A name most commonly given to male cats, Tigger almost always makes the top 10 list for the most popular cat names.

Rocky

Another incredibly popular name (primarily for male dogs), this name comes from the Oscar Award winning 1976 Sylvester Stallone film about the scrappy, underdog boxer, Rocky Balboa.

The name Rocky encapsulates a lot of what people see in their dog — tenacity, spunk, and unlikely heroism. And while the original movie came out in the mid-seventies, the most recent Rocky installment came out in 2006, so the name remains on the pop culture radar.

Simba and Nala

Both popular names for cats (Simba for boys and Nala for girls), these names hit their peak in the late nineties, with the release of The Lion King, but continue to plug along, proving the true timelessness of Disney.  Also, being the highest grossing and fourth longest running Broadway show of all time, The Lion King has continued to keep these fantastic names fresh.

Honey Boo Boo

That’s right — people are naming their pets “Honey Boo Boo” after the hyperactive child pageant reality TV phenom. You have to admit, it is a really cute name. Just please don’t give your pet any of this 6-year-old’s so called “go-go juice,” (a mixture of Red Bull, Mountain Dew, and 5 Hour Energy).

Bella

The most popular pet name in America by a wide margin, this name took the country by storm in 2006, right after the release of Stephenie Meyer’s tween fiction sensation, Twilight — the story of Bella, an everygirl that ends up as the focal point of a vampire/werewolf love triangle. Spinning into a high grossing summer blockbuster series, Twilight and Bella have in no small way helped to define a generation, so the popularity of this pet name comes as no surprise.

Do you have a pet named after a pop culture icon, but you don’t see it listed here?

Tell us in the comments below!

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