Life has an interesting habit of imitating art. People see or hear things in popular television series, and they feel compelled to honor that program in some way. One of the most fascinating developments to occur over the years is the influence of pop culture on baby name trends. With 2016 coming to a close, the numbers have started to roll in, and the influences have started to become increasingly obvious. This year was a horror themed year for newborns, as The Walking Dead and Stranger Things impacted 2016's baby name trends in a major way.
According to a brand new report from Baby Center, the "hottest baby name trends" of 2016 have officially been announced, and it seems that pop culture played a huge role in baby naming decisions this year. In particular, shows like The Walking Dead and Stranger Things really captured the imaginations of new parents. With regards to AMC's zombie series, the names Carol, Hershel (may he rest in peace), and even Walker all saw notable surges in popularity over the course of the last year. On the Stranger Things side, names like Nancy, Joyce, Dustin, and Lucas all became exceedingly popular.
Of course, it's worth noting that it doesn't seem like too many parents named their kids Negan this year, or Eleven or even Demogorgon, for that matter. That being said, considering the rabid fan bases of these two shows, I have to believe that there's at least one set of parents out there that decided to get a bit more outlandish with the name of their newborn.
Although The Walking Dead and Stranger Things both represented the big winners this year in terms of name influence, other popular shows also got in on the action as well. Bates Motel seemingly helped the name Vera (because of actress Vera Farmiga) surge in popularity, while American Horror Story: Hotel boosted the popularity of Donovan, Tristan, and Iris -- although there's obviously a case to be made that The CW's The Flash helped a bit with that last one as well. Finally, we have the most recent AHS incarnation -- American Horror Story: Roanoke -- which led to a notable increase in the popularity of the names Lee and Elias among 2016 babies.
For those new parents out there, did any major pop culture moments from 2016 influence your decision to name your baby? Let us know in the comments section below!
CinemaBlend will bring you any and all relevant details related to all of these awesome series (and their influence on our everyday lives) as new information becomes available to us. For now, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide and fill out your spring television viewing schedule accordingly!