The world of movies is often a long way away from reality. Of course, for many of us, that’s the exact reason we enjoy film: the suspension of disbelief allows for an escape from reality. However, every so often, movies take this idea just a little too far, even in the smallest of ways.
Character names are important. They may not seem to be, but iconic characters always have great names: Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Snake Plissken – the list goes on. However, sometimes, the opposite is true, and characters are named badly.
This sometimes leads to utterly ridiculous character names. Sometimes this is the result of the name not matching the actor chosen to play the part, sometimes it’s because the name is far too ludicrous for the audience to believe that someone would consciously have named their child in such a manner. Regardless, every so often, film characters introduce themselves with the strangest and most ridiculous names, and it makes for unintentional comedy gold.
8. Rayford Steele
Perhaps the least ludicrous name on this list, Nicolas Cage’s character in the utterly bonkers (and semi-incoherent) Left Behind is mostly known as Ray Steele. Not ridiculous at all, although it certainly sounds like the name of the protagonist of a romance novel. However, it’s only when his full name is revealed to be Rayford that it takes a gentle shift into slightly more ridiculous territory.
Of course, as human beings, we all have the right to be called whatever we wish, and he’s clearly happy with Rayford. However, it’s somehow ridiculous and hilarious, not least because of Nicolas Cage’s thoroughly uninterested performance as the pilot who loses half of his passengers mid-flight. Captain Rayford Steele sounds like a far more authoritative figure than the character plays, and that certainly contributes to what makes the name so funny.
It’s also perhaps just how incredibly close Rayford is to sounding normal that makes it so utterly ridiculous. After all, he could simply be addressed as Ray, and no one would ever know his secretly bizarre name, so the choice to include the -ford just seems all the more insane. Just to reiterate, if there are any Rayfords out there reading this: I’m truly sorry, but in Left Behind‘s case, it’s a ridiculous name.