9 Hilarious Naming Contest Fails

1A Slovkian bridge is named “Chuck Norris” by locals—officials reject

A two-month long contest to name a new cycling bridge that connects Austria with Slovakia (a former part of Czechoslovakia) ended with the people's selection of “Chuck Norris,” with 12,599 votes cast in his favor. Mr. Norris, a 1980s action hero, is also known for kitschy memes surrounding his macho style. Slovakian officials, however, were not amused with the results, choosing instead the “Freedom Cycling-Bridge,” which garnered only 457 votes.

2Voters choose “Mr. Splashy Pants” for whale name — Greenpeace accepts

This naming contest went awry but has a happy ending. The activist organization Greenpeace decided to hold a contest to name a group of whales they were tracking, to help raise awareness of the endangered animals' plight. There was a list of 30 names allowed, with one of them being “Mr. Splashy Pants,” which was probably intended as a joke. However, once word spread about the contest, the name quickly became the favorite, especially among Reddit users. In the end, Mr. Splashy Pants received 119,367 votes or 74% of the total. Unlike the Slovaks, Greenpeace decided to honor the results.

3Vegemite iSnack 2.0 name enrages Australians


Vegemite, the salty spread that perplexes most people that aren't native Australians, had a different problem with its snack renaming contest: the winner's name wasn't funny or cool at all. In fact, you could say the name sucked. Kraft, eager to change the product's image as an “innovative” new snack-on-the-go, had chosen “Vegemite iSnack 2.0” submitted by an IT designer named Dean Robbins, one of 48,000 entries. When the winner was announced during a championship soccer match, the public outcry was so strong they decided to have a re-renaming contest. Winner the next time around: Cheesybite.

4Fred Durst Society for the Humanities and Arts chosen as name of new trash dump

Austin, Texas is known for being a little off-kilter. In 2012, when the city was asked to vote for the name of a new waste transfer facility, a former trash collector named Kyle Hentges came up with “The Fred Durst Society for the Humanities and Arts.” Durst is the lead singer of Limp Bizkit and is often lampooned for his trashy behavior.

Kyle says he saw it as a way to “surround [the department] with some humor.” Durst said on Twitter he appreciated the nomination and hoped it won. While it did gather 30,000 votes, the city went with Austin Resource Recovery instead.

5The "Boaty McBoatface" saga

This entry is the latest in naming contest fails: a $287 million British ship, which gained worldwide attention for its leading entry, HMS Boaty McBoatface. A Brit by the name of James Hand laughingly suggested the name and is as surprised as anyone that it has garnered so many votes. The contest is open until April 16, 2016, so there's still a chance it could win, but the research council sponsoring the contest hasn't yet said they would honor whatever was chosen. Even if it loses, Mr. Hand has been asked by Royal Caribbean to name their new boat for them.

6"Stephen Colbert" has won 9 naming contests

The logo of the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill on the ISS

Television comedian Stephen Colbert is known for encouraging his viewers to hijack online polls or other contests, usually to give himself more glory. With the tongue-in-cheek effort put forth during the years of The Colbert Report by his legion of followers, he managed to get nine things named after him, including a hockey mascot (Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle) and a Virgin Airlines airplane (Air Colbert). And while he was the winning entry for the name of a new International Space Station module, NASA declined, instead naming a treadmill on the station after him.

7Internet names couple's baby Cthulhu All-Spark

A Baby Cthulhu costume by RozMartinez

Perhaps the dumbest thing to do is to ask the Internet to name your baby, but that's what a Kelowna, British Columbia couple, Alysha and Stephen McLaughlin, decided to do. Naturally, the first choice of 150,000 voters wasn't something cute or cuddly. In fact, Cthulhu All-Spark was the top name (Cthulhu is a mythical tentacle-faced creature from H.P. Lovecraft). The couple instead chose the (distant) second choice of Amelia Savannah Joy.

8Selby leisure center named... Selby Leisure Center!

He said the name came to him in a dream...

And the winner for Most Boring Name Contest Fail goes to Steve Wadsworth, of Selby, a small town in England. The Selby City Council announced that Mr. Wadsworth won the honor of choosing the name for a leisure center that recently opened in the area. His inspiring pick? Selby Leisure Center. (It was formerly known as Abbey Leisure Center.)

9Black Metal Hero Euronymous almost ends up on Norwegian Airplane

Fly the fiendly skies...

Stephen Colbert managed to get his face on a plane, but no such luck with Øystein Aarseth. Norwegian Airlines sponsored an online contest to vote for your favorite Norwegian folk hero, whose image would be emblazoned on one of their airplanes. Aarseth, aka Euronymous, was the lead guitarist of Mayhem, a Norwegian black metal band (a gruesome sub-genre of heavy metal) and was rumored to have stolen bits of Mayhem's lead singer's skull after he had committed suicide. He was later stabbed to death by another band mate. Followers of the group managed to get the name legitimately added for consideration, but after the votes and publicity started pouring in Norwegian Air said they removed Aarseth from the competition “at his family's request.”