Famous people have an unfortunate habit of bestowing on their children the most outlandish, embarrassing and cringeworthy names possible. Here are 20 of the best-slash-worst celebrity christenings, including kids called after animals and newborns named after superheroes. Read on and be thankful you weren’t the child of a celeb… because who knows what name you’d be answering to today.
20. Zooey Deschanel/Jacob Pechenik and Elsie Otter
Zooey Deschanel has always been slightly zany, but the New Girl star outdid herself when in 2015 she named her daughter after an aquatic mammal. Deschanel later explained to The Today Show that she and husband Jacob Pechenik had chosen the name Elsie Otter because they “really loved the name Elsie and we both love otters.” Makes perfect sense.
19. John Mellencamp/Elaine Irwin and Speck Wildhorse
It seems unlikely that the son of John Mellencamp and Elaine Irwin will grow up with any kind of ego, given that his rocker dad and model mom decided to name him Speck. And the couple didn’t do much better when it came to choosing a middle name for their child: his full moniker is Speck Wildhorse Mellencamp. Yikes.
18. Nicole Richie/Joel Madden and Sparrow James Midnight
Nicole Richie and Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden welcomed a new baby boy in 2009, and they decided to give him this mouthful of monikers: Sparrow James Midnight Madden. Couldn’t they have just stuck with James?
17. Alicia Silverstone/Christopher Jarecki and Bear Blu
When Clueless actress Alicia Silverstone and musician Christopher Jarecki christened their son Bear Blu, it was only the start of some very bizarre parenting behavior indeed. In 2012 Silverstone went public with her unorthodox mouth-to-mouth baby feeding technique, and she hit the headlines again in 2014 when she revealed that she didn’t believe in vaccinating her children.
16. Frank Zappa/Gail Zappa and Moon Unit
Frank Zappa and wife Gail didn’t give any of their children sensible names but their first-born – poor, innocent little Moon Unit Zappa – probably fared the worst. Mind you, Moon’s brothers and sisters are named Dweezil, Ahmet, and Diva Muffin Zappa, so they have nothing to tease their big sister about.
15. Shannyn Sossamon/Dallas Clayton and Audio Science
Most parents-to-be might browse through a baby name book when preparing for a new arrival, but not actress Shannyn Sossamon; she sought inspiration in a dictionary. In 2003 the A Knight’s Tale star told Contactmusic that she and partner Dallas Clayton “wanted a word, not a name” for their child. So they “read through the dictionary three or four times” and promptly christened their son Audio Science, as you do.
14. Pete Wentz/Ashlee Simpson and Bronx Mowgli
Combine two famous people and you get… one horrible, horrible celebrity baby name. Bronx Mowgli Wentz’s middle name comes from The Jungle Book, because, as Ashlee Simpson revealed in a 2008 radio interview with Ryan Seacrest, the Disney classic was something her and Pete Wentz “bonded over.”
13. Kevin Smith/Jennifer Schwalbach and Harley Quinn
We all know that Kevin Smith is a comic book geek. But perhaps the multi-talented movie maker took his fandom a bit too far when he named his daughter with Jennifer Schwalbach “Harley Quinn.” Harley Quinn, for those unfamiliar with the superhero series, is the psychotic villain from Batman, so she has a lot to live up to.
12. Lil’ Kim/Mr. Papers and Royal Reign
When Lil’ Kim and Mr. Papers welcomed their daughter into the world in 2014, the king and queen of rap chose a decidedly regal name for their little girl: Royal Reign. Hey, at least the kid will never be short on self-confidence; just like mom, then.
11. Jason Lee/Beth Riesgraf and Pilot Inspektor
My Name Is Earl actor Jason Lee and Leverage star Beth Riesgraf really messed up when they christened their son Pilot Inspektor. Not only does the name sound remarkably like a job description, the couple didn’t even spell the “Inspektor” part right.
10. Pharrell Williams/Helen Lasichanh and Rocket Ayer
In 2014 Pharrell Williams tried to explain to Oprah – and the world – why he and Helen Lasichanh had named their son “Rocket.” The Happy hitmaker revealed that the couple had been influenced by Indian naming patterns and had finally decided to name the child “after a manmade machine that was meant to go up. Meant to ascend.” Well, now it all makes perfect sense.
9. Penn Jillette/Emily Zolten Jillette and Moxie Crimefighter
Magician Penn Jillette and his wife Emily Zolten Jillette named their child “Moxie Crimefighter.” Why? Because, as the couple explained to People magazine in 2007, “it’s pretty cruel to give a kid a name that others are going to have.” Sure. That’s what’s cruel.
8. Gwen Stefani/Gavin Rossdale and Apollo Bowie Flynn
The third Gwen Stefani/Gavin Rossdale child was named Apollo Bowie Flynn. After David Bowie, right? Nope, it seems that Bowie and Flynn were the maiden names of Stefani and Rossdale’s mothers. A touching tribute, and at least it makes the names of the couple’s other two children – Kingston and Zuma – seem relatively normal.
7. Jamie Oliver/Jools Oliver and Buddy Bear Maurice
British TV chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools are serial offenders when it comes to naming kids – their daughters are Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela and Petal Blossom Rainbow. But the name they chose for their poor son? Buddy Bear Maurice. Oh dear.
6. Gerard Way/Lyn-Z and Bandit Lee
Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance and his wife Lyn-Z of Mindless Self Indulgence named their daughter the usual way rockers do: terribly. Their baby girl is called Bandit Lee, so they only have themselves to blame if she does indeed grow up to stick people up.
5. Nicolas Cage/Alice Kim and Kal-El
Nicholas Cage loves Superman: so much so, in fact, that he decided to name his child with Alice Kim after the character. He’s called Kal-El, after Superman’s birth name, and he most likely does not appreciate it at all.
4. Rob Morrow/Debbon Ayer and Tu
Can you imagine naming your daughter after a bad joke? Well, that’s exactly what actor Rob Morrow did. The Northern Exposure star and his wife Debbon Ayer named their child Tu… as in Tu Morrow. Tu might see the funny side when she’s older, but we doubt it.
3. Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin and Apple
When Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin announced that they were naming their daughter “Apple,” howls of laughter could be heard all over the globe. Paltrow, however, maintains that the unusual name is actually biblical.
2. Kanye West/Kim Kardashian and North
Two of the most famous people in the world were having a baby! What would they call it? The answer did not disappoint: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their daughter North. North West, to be precise. A compass direction, of all things.
1. Jermaine Jackson/Alejandra Oaziaza and Jermajesty
Jermaine Jackson had previously named three of his kids Jeremy, Jourdynn and Jaafar – as you can tell, things were getting progressively weirder as he went along. So how was he going to top those when it came to his youngest, born to ex-wife Alejandra Oaziaza in 2000? Well, he did so spectacularly by naming said child “Jermajesty.” Say no more.