25+ Popular Things Whose Original Names Might Surprise You

Published 6 years ago

Did you know that instead of ‘googling’ things we could have been ‘backrubbing’ them if the original company name hadn’t been changed in 1997? Turns out Google isn’t the only popular brand that changed its name for the better.

Bored Panda has compiled a list of popular things that were originally named different and some of them will surprise you. From Mr. Bean nearly being named Mr. Cauliflower to Screaming Abdabs changing their name to Pink Floyd – you’ll be glad the original names never caught on.

Check out the list of original names in the gallery below!


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#1 Backrub – Google

One of the weirdest original names belongs to Google, which, believe it or not, was supposed to be named ‘Backrub.’ Imagine Backrubing something instead of Googling? Sounds ridiculous, right? Well back in 1996 this was the original company name but was then changed to Google in 1997.

Image source: Business Insider

#2 Lenny, Penny, And Kenny – The Big Bang Theory

This one definitely turned out way better than it could have been. Before renaming Jim Parsons’ character to Sheldon, his name was Kenny and the famous tv series was called not ‘The Big Bang Theory’ but ‘Lenny, Penny and Kenny’, which is the cheesiest thing in the entire universe.

Image source: Hollywood

#3 Whoopass Girls – Powerpuff Girls

Oh man, the things we would do to have the famous trio called not the Powerpuff Girls, but the Whoopass Girls… It just sounds so badass. Well, according to the book “America Toons In: A History of Television Animation” that’s exactly how the girls were supposed to be named. Unfortunately, the name was changed in order to avoid offending the intended audience, which is kids and their parents.

Image source: America Toons In: A History of Television Animation

#4 Mr Cauliflower – Mr Bean

Rowan Atkinson, the genius behind the iconic Mr. Bean character, actually came up with this persona when he was studying for his master’s degree at the University of Oxford. The name Mr. Bean came up only after the first program was released, and while pitching different names, one of the suggestions was Mr. Cauliflower. Sounds fun, but nothing would change the iconic Mr. Bean!

Image source: Goody Feed

#5 Pictaboo – Snapchat

The original name for Snapchat was actually Pictaboo until the creators received a letter from a photography book company with the same name. Pictaboo was then changed to Snapchat. But the name is not the only thing the company changed. To make the app more popular, one of the original creators of the app suggested it was best to advertise it as a sexting app. On the drafts from the press release, it stated: “Pictaboo lets you and your boyfriend send photos for peeks and not keeps!”

Image source: Frozen Fire

#6 Spaceman From Pluto – Back To The Future

If it was up to the the head of Universal Pictures’ the movie ‘Back to the Future’ would have been named ‘Spaceman from Pluto.’ Why? Because according to Sid Sheinberg, “no successful movie ever had the word ‘future’ in it.” According to writer and producer Bob Gale “Every single person at Universal loved the title Back To The Future except for Sid. So we went to Steven and said, ‘Steven, what are we going to do? He means it. He really wants to change the title.’” Steven wrote a memo back to Sheinberg saying, “Dear Sid, thanks so much for your most humorous memo. We all really got a big laugh out of it.” Steven knew that Sid was too proud to admit he’d meant it seriously. And that was the end of ‘Spaceman From Pluto.’

Image source: Business Insider

#7 Six Of One – Friends

In life, you never know how one tiny decision can change everything completely. So, back in 2012, Vanity Fair released an issue were they wrote down all the things that could have been completely different in the show ‘Friends’. For example, Courtney Cox initially read for the role of Rachel Green, but she chose to play Monica, and Monica’s character was supposed to be way darker, edgier and snarkier. But the most important part is the name, and if it wasn’t for Kauffman and Crane, we would be stuck with ‘Six of One’ which was the original name of the show.

Image source: Planet Radio

#8 Smile – Queen

There is no cheesier name than ‘Smile’. Imagine a legendary, incredible, one-of-a-kind band and then call them ‘Smile’ – just terrible. So then, it’s hard to believe that such an outstanding band like Queen would call themselves nothing but a cliche positive name. Well, as it turns out, the name ‘Queen’ was given after the band invited Freddie Mercury to join then, and he was the one who suggested this name (of course he was). In an interview with Circus, Mercury said that the concept behind the name was to be regal and majestic, just like the Queen.”

Image source: Spazio In Wind

#9 Jerry And David’s Guide To The World Wide Web – Yahoo

We’re almost certain that Yahoo wouldn’t be so successful if they had kept their original name – Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web, it just seems a bit … too long. Of course, you could call it JDGWWW, but we think they did the right thing here by changing their name to Yahoo! Which stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”

Image source: Britannica

#10 Sweet Children – Green Day

Before they created the song that everyone sings on September 30th, they were ‘Sweet Children’, a band created when Billie Joe Armstrong was only 14 years old. The band changed their name to Green Day after being confused with Californian rock outfit Sweet Baby. Also, Sweet Children doesn’t sound so badass compared to ‘Green Day’, a name that refers to a day when all you do is smoke marijuana.

Image source: Rolling Stone

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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