Tuckerization is the act of naming a person, place, or thing in a work of fiction after a living person either as a homage or as an in-joke. The word is derived from 1950s science-fiction writer Wilson Tucker, who would name characters in his works after friends and family. In current science fiction, successful science-fiction authors have been known to auction off Tuckerizations for charity; the winner gets to have a character named after him in the next book.
A Tuckerization, however, is not a "guest appearance," where the character named after a living person is actually meant to represent that living person. Tuckerization is the naming of characters who are essentially different from their real-life counterparts, although they might have some similarities.
The MTV feature "The Transformed Staff" revealed that a number of background characters are tuckerisations of MTV staff, including Burnout Girl, Cindy, and Dawn (the last based on a former MTV production assistant). The names of two staff members, Cindy and Shane, even turn up in one of O'Neill's seating charts in "Cafe Disaffecto", and for a class where their tuckerisations will appear, no less.
"Camp Fear" would feature tuckerisation of two fans: Michelle Klein-Hass,then the operator of Lawndale Commons and a writer of articles on the show, and Erin Mills, who won a trivia contest on MTV's Daria website with the cameo as the prize. (Further details are available here.)
A variant of Tuckerization is frequently used in Daria fanfic, in that the online screen names of fans, authors, and artists are used in stories instead of those persons' real names: these have been used for the names of characters, such as in The Angst Guy's "Scarlett" and "A Hard Days' Night."
Examples of Tuckerizations in fanfic
- Gina Fulton's best friend Natalie is named after Quiverwing.
- Isabelle, the Costume Mistress for Raft's Theater Department, is named for HelpfulSkittlesExplosion.
- The quarry is named the Forman Quarry, after fanfiction writer C.E. Forman.
- The body of water which provides Lawndale ocean access is named Lewis Bay, after series co-creator Susie Lewis. (These Tuckerizations were added by co-writer Brother Grimace.)
- Bealer and Curtis, two members of Furmaan Singh's bodyguard, are named after fanfiction authors Kristen Bealer and Scissors MacGillicutty (although Scissors's name is misspelled).
- Natalia Luchinni, the Argentinian-born lover of Darren Appleton, is loosely based on Quiverwing.
- Several cadets at the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies are based upon PPMB posters.
- The Doctor, one of the metahumans who frequents Old Stanley's and who used his telepathic skills to help Quinn, is based on the Russian PPMBer UU.
- A location "..at the corner of MacGillicutty Street and Wright Avenue, next to the storefront church with the broken-winged angel on the sidewalk outside," refers to three of the the Angst Lords: Scissors MacGillicutty, Brother Grimace, and Angelinhel.
- Half a block away from the above corner is the "Renfield Building" which refers to the Angst Lord Renfield.
- Two villains in "Visitations" are named after James Bowman and Thomas Mikkelsen, two fan fiction writers.