When planning a team-based event or organizing a large group into teams, it can help to have a specific theme that all teams must follow for their name.
While it’s fun for team members to have freedom when choosing their names, giving them some guidelines can help make their decisions easier and inspire them.
Studies show that limitations can actually bring about greater creativity!
The theme you choose should keep in mind the purpose of the event and the audience (professionals? students? etc.). In many ways, your choice will set the tone for the event.
Below, we list more than 80 team name theme ideas, plus tips for choosing the perfect theme for your group!
Note that linked themes will direct you to our lists featuring team names that fit that particular theme.
Theme Names for Teams
Fairy Tale Endings
Fast Food Combos
The Four Elements
inspired by earth, water, air, and fire
inspired by pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth
Seven Heavenly Virtues
inspired by prudence, justics, temperance, courage, faith, hope, and charity
name each team after a famous criminal, from old west outlaws to mobsters
Superhero Day Jobs
Odd Error Messages
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Worst Things to Find in Your Attic/Basement
name each team after a famous “Chris,” such as Chris Hemsworth or Chris Evans
Seen at the Circus
name each team after a circus act, such as “Ringmasters” or “Magicians”
Box Office Flops
real or imagined films that would fail at the box office
Rejected Children's Books
Most Vicious Villains
First Day Jitters
name each team after something that would make you nervous on the first day of school or at a new job
similar to Alternate Histories, but with basic facts — like “Clear Skies Are Green”
name each team after a famous thinker or inventor
Snow Cone Flavors
Sketchy Restaurant Names
Greatest Films Never Made
name each team after a strange or unusual career
name each team after a famous woman from history
Fates Worse Than Death
Non-Charting Boy Bands
create rejected ’90s boy band names
Strange Grocery Delivery Substitutions
each team chooses a decade or century to represent
The Seven Wonders of the World
name each team after a nonsensical or silly law, such as “Don’t Drive Blindfolded” or “No Highway Horse Races”
Pro Team Mascots
choose a word and name each team after a translation of that word (e.g., translating “Love” into team names like the French “Amour” or the Korean Romanization “Sarang”)
every team name must be in leetspeak
Greatest Character Flaws
name each team after something that didn’t happen, such as Gerald Ford’s second term as president
Corny Pick-Up Lines
name each team after the first time something happened, such as “Robert Cornelius’ Selfie” or “The Ford Quadricycle” (the first car designed by Henry Ford)
Spooky Old Mansions
choose a name that sounds like it would suit a haunted estate
name each team after a well-known band, screen ensemble, etc.
Worst Impulse Buys
name each team after something you regret buying
Grease Is the Word
name each team after something retro/1950s-inspired
name each team after an Academy Award-winning film or star
News Bloopers/Strange Headlines
referencing news that doesn’t sound real or was shared in error
Weird Vacation Destinations
Canceled TV Pilots
Unusual Movie Genres
strange combinations like “Horror-Romance” or “Silent Music Documentaries”
Unusual Pizza Toppings
Team Name Theme Generator
How to Choose the Perfect Theme for Your Team or Event
Keep these tips in mind to find or create the perfect theme for your teams/event:
- Choose an appropriate theme. Your theme should match the type of event or activity you’re planning. For example, if you’re splitting your division at work into smaller teams for a complex project, you’ll want to be sure to choose a theme that’s appropriate for your workplace. Are you a company that follows strict rules of professionalism or one with a more relaxed atmosphere? Always keep your environment in mind when choosing themes and team names.
- Consider the interests of your groups. Are your participants pop culture whizzes, ’90s babies, foodies, or nature lovers? If they have a lot in common, calling upon their interests can make it easier to choose the perfect theme. For instance, if none of the participants enjoy camping or hiking, you’ll probably want to avoid the National Parks and Great Outdoors themes. However, if they’re all outdoorsy, choosing one of these themes will make the event even more fun for them.
- Use your sense of humor. Some people like puns, some like slapstick, and others like dark humor. Whatever your sense of humor, if the teams share it, put it to good use when choosing the theme. Funny names are always great to use — they can completely shape the mood of your event! Some ideas on our list above won’t be appropriate for every team or event; use your best judgment and be sure not to choose a theme that some participants will find offensive.
- Consider the event size. Many of the themes on our list above have the potential to spawn dozens of team names, but if you’re planning an activity for a particularly large number of teams, consider the limitations of the themes you like. Something like “The Four Elements” won’t work if you have 12 teams, for example.