27 Baby Names Inspired By ABC's TGIF
🎶🎵Everywhere you look... 🎶🎵
The best baby names come from the darndest of places, including — maybe?! — the Friday night TV programming of yesteryear. Between Boy Meets World, Step by Step, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, '90s classics contain more name fodder than you might expect, particularly when you start thumbing through both characters (Topanga of Boy Meets World) and cast (Leonardo DiCaprio of Growing Pains).
So, here we go, with the best from A to Z (-ish — there's no X in TGIF. And no G, if anyone asks...).
The TGIF TV version of this iconic ‘90s movie may have only lasted three seasons, but the names still slapped. Amber is Cher's bitchy but popular and incredibly well-dressed classmate in Clueless, played with panache by Elisa Donovan in both the movie and the show. Somewhat of a fashion follower, there's no question she's spoiled, but she's quick-tongued with the comebacks — and what more could you want in your kid?
Becky is Uncle Jesse's wife, a charming talk show host, and perennial aunt of the year in everyone's favorite family sitcom, Full House. If you want a kid who's maternal, level-headed, and full of good advice, Becky it is! Bonus: She'll probably have good hair.
A romantic airhead with a good heart and a better closet, Cher Horowitz from Clueless (played in the sitcom by The Summer I Turned Pretty’s Rachel Blanchard) has an enviable sense of style. Plus, she's a total daddy's girl, if you're into that sort of thing. Oh, and Cher means "beloved" in French, which is sweet!
A terrible drunk and absent dad to Shawn Hunter in Boy Meets World, Chet Hunter is a name you just don't hear every day. (Don't worry: Your bb Chet won't be like him!)
A smart and loyal feminist with a penchant for shopping and great sense of style, Dionne (aka "Dee") is Cher's best friend and partner in crime. Fittingly, Dionne means "divine queen" in Greek.
Wise, protective, and with it (you know, for a grandma), Estelle is Carl Winslow's mother in Family Matters. The name means "star" — shine on, baby.
Equal parts authority figure and mentor in Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny is Cory Matthews' teacher and neighbor with a fondness for gardening and giving the best advice. Feeny: The new Freddie!
Step By Step — deep throwback, we know — features a blended family helmed by Frank Foster (father of Dana, Karen, and Mark). We'll file it under "cool middle name."
A 600-some-year-old witch-slash-aunt in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "Hilda" is literally timeless. While some might consider her character impractical, ditzy, and careless, she's got a pithy sense of humor. A funny kid!
In Boy Meets World, Shawn Hunter is Cory's BFF. An emo ladies' man with a rough family life, he may or may not have joined a gang during one season... but we won't hold it against his name.
A boundlessly loveable jokester with a heart of gold, Joey is Danny Tanner's BFF in Full House. A derivative of Joseph, Joey means "god will increase." But it also means baby kangaroo. Could it get any cuter?
Vain and ditzy, Karen Foster from Step By Step is the second-oldest daughter on the Foster side. While the name Karen now comes with baggage, doesn't every Karen deserve a fresh start!? After all, the name means "pure."
Luke Brower is a homeless teen on Growing Pains played by Leonardo DiCaprio (little Leo!). That's all, that's the character.
Myra Monkhouse is Urkel's heartthrob in Family Matters. In Latin, Myra means fragrant ointment. (So, like, perfume!)
Murray Duvall is Dee's adoring on-again-off-again boyfriend on Clueless. He's cute and well-liked, clearly the only two qualities you need in a baby.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen stole the show playing itty-bitty Michelle on Full House, the show that jumpstarted their careers. I don't know any Olsens, but I kind-of-sort-of want to!
Actor Rider Strong played Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World. He was raised in San Francisco, but I can't think of a name that's more Brooklyn!
If you want your kid to have magical powers (to exit the womb with a snap of the fingers, charm every human who meets them, make endless amounts of money, and support you, etc., etc.) Sabrina from the eponymous show is the only name you should consider, really.
The Seavers are the family who stars in Growing Pains. Equal parts nautical and obscure, it's perfect for a coastal child, although the real (fictional) family hails from Long Island (and, tbh, I don't remember whether the show features a beach). Dad's a psychologist. Mom's a reporter. Could do worse! Plus, the name means "fierce stronghold," which sounds like a baby who will sleep through the night.
Tamara Landry is the boy-crazy, impulsive twin from Sister, Sister. What she lacks in smarts, she has in charm. While neither here nor there, it turns out Tamara is a Hebrew name that means palm tree. (The more you know!)
The last name of Full House's Danny Tanner and all the daughters who belong to him (DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle), Tanner means leather maker.
Tia Landry from Sister, Sister is the intelligent, overachieving twin. She's straight and narrow, bordering on uptight. If you don't want a troublemaker, Tia's your name. Plus, the name means princess in Greek and aunt in Spanish — benign!
While this Boy Meets World character is likely responsible for a lot of unfortunate '90s perms, Topanga Lawrence is a super smart kid who cares about the environment. It's a Native American name that means "where the mountain meets the sea."
I can't, in good faith, personally recommend the name Urkel from Family Matters — Steve Urkel is an adoring nerd best remembered by his suspenders. Additionally, at least one source says Urkel means "stain of weed," and I just don't want that for your child. (You're welcome!) Still, it's an, ahem, unique name.
Virna is Shawn Hunter's mom in Boy Meets World. She's largely absent and turns out not to be his biological mother, but it's still a fun name if you're looking for a V and don't love Violet or Virginia.
The main family in Family Matters, the second-longest-running live-action U.S. sitcom with a predominantly African-American cast, Winslow means "friend's hill." How approachable!
A witch with a knack for chemistry, Zelda is the stricter aunt in the show Sabrina. In Yiddish, Zelda means gray-haired — maybe a nod to wisdom. Just think of it as a name that's beyond its years.