Many people are huge Harry Potter fans, and it’s not that uncommon to meet someone with some mugs or decor in their home, or even a pet or a plant named after a favorite character.
But naming children after the franchise hasn’t become quite so common yet, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When Redditor Creative_Chance_5077 was called out for the name she had potentially chosen for her baby, she was surprised it came from someone who had also taken inspiration from a fandom.
But when she pointed out this irony, the Original Poster (OP) was scolded for being harsh.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for calling my coworker a hypocrite for giving her baby a ‘nerdy’ name?”
The OP was contemplating a name for her baby.
“I (32 Female) am pregnant with a baby girl. My husband and I haven’t locked down a name we like until she is born.”
“We’re leaning towards Minerva. My husband is a mythology buff, I like ‘Harry Potter,’ and we first met and bonded over our shared love of ‘Adventure Time.’ It’s a win/win/win.”
“Again, we haven’t fully decided on a name. But Minerva is the current front-runner.”
A coworker criticized her choice of the name Minerva.
“Well, my coworkers and I were talking about my upcoming maternity leave when it got to names. I said we hadn’t decided but like Minerva.”
“It should be noted that it is a well-known fact in my office that I am a huge ‘Harry Potter’ fan.”
“Well, there’s this coworker of mine named Gwen (23 Female). Gwen started interrupting me and telling me that I shouldn’t ‘force my fandom’ on my baby by giving her a ‘Harry Potter’ name.”
“I get what she means, but then I said, ‘Okay, but you named your daughter after Harley Quinn, right? Isn’t that the same thing?'”
“Gwen is a big comics girl and often compares her and her boyfriend to Harley Quinn and Joker.”
“I don’t know what she’s like at home, but naming your baby after a comics character is no better than if it’s from another fandom?”
“Gwen stormed off and has been giving me the cold shoulder since then.”
This encounter led to a series of debates.
“While everyone else agrees that she had no right to criticize my name since it’s not her baby, I shouldn’t have embarrassed her in front of everyone else.”
“I say different. If you name your baby after a fictional character, then you shouldn’t criticize others for doing the same thing. Even if you hate the other fandom.”
“I brought this up later to some other family. Everyone is split on the matter, with my own brother saying that Gwen is right and I shouldn’t force my fandom on my daughter.”
“Things are starting to repeat itself when I reminded him that he named his own son Ben (like Ben Kenobi) and took him to ‘Galaxy’s Edge’ for his first birthday.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pondered the coworker’s and brother’s hypocrisy.
“OP, a question tho, why are the people who literally named their children after fandoms calling you out????? First, it was Gwen and now your brother??” – Altruistic_Usual_855
“It seems likely the coworker and brother think ‘DC’/’Star Wars’ are ‘cool’ but ‘Harry Potter’ is ‘lame.'”
“If they had brought up criticism about JK Rowling or something, they would have a tiny bit of justification, but still be out of line.”
“Definitely feels more like, ‘When we did it, it was okay because it’s a cool fandom for grownups, but when you did it, it’s not okay because your fandom is for a dumb kids’ book.'”
“The same thing happens with the Batman fanboys talking crap about people who enjoy the MCU. Or dudes in 20 Fantasy Football leagues talking crap about their coworker who plays Dungeon and Dragons”
“They’re fine to like X because X is cool, but other people are lame for liking Y in the exact same way because Y is lame.” – anndor
“Naming your child Harley is not just forcing your fandom on the kid, that is stuffing their car seat in a clown car full of craziness and mental instability.”
“Who would want to associate their child (or their own relationship with their significant other as Gwen does) with that abusive storyline? I admit I know nothing of HP, but, OP, I am down with some quirky traditional names, and Minerva is bada**!” – Such_Application_691
“I mean… if you want to get super technical, her name is actually Harleen Quinzel. She became Harley Quinn when Joker pushed her into a vat of chemicals and she went insane. This just slams home the point that your coworker and her man comparing themselves to Harley and Mr. J is just bat s**t crazy.”
“That being said… I, personally, don’t care for the name Minerva. But I’ve heard exponentially worse names (Abcde…springs to mind). At least Minerva is a name with a meaning behind it and not just something made up for attention.”
“You’re NTA here, OP. You called your coworker on her bullshit and she didn’t like it. That’s on her… not you.” – GingerSnapNV
“You didn’t criticize Gwen for naming her kid a “nerdy” name. You criticized Gwen for being a hypocrite.”
“Also, I don’t know how much of a fan of comics Gwen actually is, given that the relationship between HQ and Joker is pretty gross and toxic.” – TahiniInMyVeins
Others didn’t see the problem with the name just as a name.
“For Ben, I wouldn’t really think of the connection with a fandom, and for Harley, I’d think the bikes, and for Minerva, I guess the Greek goddess. Especially as Harry Potter is falling out of relevance lately.”
“It’s not like the GoT (‘Game of Thrones’) names that are a lot more obvious in where they are from.” – meneldal2
“You said, ‘Gwen is a big comics girl and often compares her and her boyfriend to Harley Quinn and the Joker.'”
“Dang, are they okay? Couples that compare themselves to Harley/Joker are pretty cringe. I mean, Joker was abusive AF. Anyways, moving on.”
“You’re NTA. It’s an actual name. It was a name before ‘Harry Potter’ came along. It’s also super hypocritical for them to call you out when they literally named their kids after their fandoms.” – Fritemare
“The Roman goddess Minerva is essentially the Greek goddess Athena.”
“Minerva is a great name because any child being named after the goddess of wisdom hopefully lives up to her name.” – maedocc
“It’s not like Minerva has this immediate connection with ‘Harry Potter.’ If it was a boy named Sirius, I would see the coworker’s point, but there’s a lot of Minervas out there that have nothing to do with HP…” – izzynk3003
“There’s a world of difference between choosing a name you love from media you love for your child and forcing the child to be a diehard fan of your fandom. OP may choose Minerva and if their daughter doesn’t like HP, they don’t have to.”
“My son is named for a character in Firefly, middle name for a Batman character. If he grows up to like neither of those, oh well.”
“Currently, he’s huge into Star Wars. More power to him. I got to pick his names because that’s one perk of being a parent. I picked names I like.” – coatisabrownishcolor
A few also side-eyed the coworker’s relationship comparison to Harley Quinn and Joker.
“I’ve never trusted people who want to be like them (Harley and Joker). Like okay, so you want a homicidal criminal boyfriend with mental illness so bad that Batman doesn’t wanna deal with him… and you want (checks notes)… Stockholm Syndrome.” – cheechie64
“HQ (Harley Quinn) straight-up has Stockholm Syndrome towards Joker. Having a relationship like that is not the flex she thinks it is.” – NaviHo
“Also, it’s funny that OP’s coworker compares herself to Harley and Joker. Those two have the most toxic relationship in the comic universe.”
“I was super happy when Harley got over Joker and decided to become good. Even Batman asked her to join the Bat-Family and officially gave her guidance. She has a freaking apartment now and is doing part-time Therapist!!” – DaokoXD
“Not to mention the fact that Harley and Joker are villains! It’s not like OP is wanting to name their baby Voldemort.” – Wendillintheweird
“Harley-Joker is not a relationship goal at all. He is a manipulative psychopath who just uses her and she can be beaten to death by him and still believe it’s her fault and he’s adorable.”
“Funny that she criticizes your nerdy stuff but she compares herself with the most toxic ‘relationship.'” – I-cant-hug-every-cat
While the OP was hearing negative feedback from several people in her life for the name she had chosen, the subReddit decided she was not in the wrong. Not only was the name she chose representative of her and her husband’s likes, but she also had not insulted the other people’s name choices, but instead their hypocrisy.