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Nintendo Fans Are Naming Babies After Pikachu, Bowser, Link & More

Social Security data shows a rise in Nintendo-themed baby names during 2020, including some unfortunate children now named Toad and Banjo.

Don’t be surprised if you meet a Nintendo fan with a child named Falco – it’s more common than you think.

According to data from the American Social Security Administration, 2022 saw a surge in “Nintendo names” among babies in the United States. Baby formula site tabulated the names in handy graphics listing the number of babies per million named after each recorded Nintendo character by quantity and region. Some of the results were startling. While list-topping names like Mario and Zelda don’t have an inherent connection to their corresponding games, it’s difficult to imagine that names like Pikachu and Samus are coincidental. At the same time, it’s equally difficult to imagine why new parents would send a child into the world with the name Toad. Thankfully, the site found no newborns named Duck Hunt or Donkey, although that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.


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Millennials Reaching Parenting Age May Be a Factor

There are a number of possible explanations for the recent popularity of Nintendo names, from the Millennial Generation, who grew up with classic Nintendo franchises now reaching parenting age to the company’s continued growth over the years. Nintendo has managed to stay at the center of the video game industry for nearly 50 years, distributing its first “Color-TV-Game” console in the late 70s. Still, it is arguably more popular in 2023 than ever. Its public image as a family-friendly gaming company has been key to this success. It could also be a contributing factor to the popularity of Nintendo names, as 2022 did not see nearly the name number of parents rushing to name their children Master Chief.

The success of the new animated Super Mario Bros. movie is further evidence of Nintendo’s popularity, recently taking the box office record for all-time best Easter weekend from Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but fans seem to have embraced it, providing strong hope for a sequel in the near future. The movie also appears to have redeemed the Super Mario franchise’s cinematic image years after the disastrous 1993 live-action adaption, which infuriated producers Disney even more than it did audiences. With the movie capturing the attention of audiences across the nation, we may be in for another year of record Nintendo baby naming.

RELATED: This Cult Classic Offered a Unique Take on Video Games Long Before Super Mario Bros.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is still showing in theaters across North America.


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