Some of the biggest companies in the real world can’t compare with those created in our favorite fictional universes. In the land of make-believe, companies become much more than just simple money makers. They can innovate beyond belief, save (or destroy) the planet, or just accidentally cause insane amounts of chaos. The companies on our list are both big and small, wealthy and poor. Some are inherently good, others are pure evil, but most are somewhere in the grey area in the middle.
Here are the 26 greatest (or at least most entertaining) fictional companies from TV and film. Enjoy!
26. Acme Corp.
Although Acme Corp. has been used by multiple cartoons, movies, or TV shows, it’s probably most well known for being an integral part of the Loony Tunes universe — especially in the animated shorts featuring the speedy Road Runner and the conniving Wile E. Coyote. As the poor coyote attempts to catch himself some dinner, he often uses Acme products to help his cause.
Acme itself appears to be a huge conglomerate, making everything from simple anvils to giant weaponized rockets. Unfortunately, a lot of the products don’t seem to work as intended or promised and end up backfiring on Wile E. Coyote. Or maybe it’s just a lot of user error. The company also appeared in Tiny Toons and Animaniacs.
25. Ollivander’s Wand Shop
Found in the secretive magic marketplace of Diagon Alley in London, Ollivanders has been providing quality magic wands to young witches and wizards for centuries. A young Harry Potter is brought to Ollivanders by Rubeus Hagrid to pick out his first wand after receiving a surprise letter of admission of Hogwarts.
Although the shop itself is mostly a very small setting in the sprawling Potter universe, it serves an important purpose. It was Garrick Ollivander (a descendant of the store’s original founder) who informs Harry (and eventually Voldemort, under torture) that their wands are made with twin cores — two feathers from the same phoenix.
A trip to Ollivander’s is a rite of passage for every young magical student. Although the shop shut down during the dark time when Voldemort and his followers had infiltrated Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, we assume Ollivanders is once again open for business following the Battle of Hogwarts.
24. Gekko and Co.
“Greed is good.”
That was one of the catchphrases of Gordon Gekko, the founder and CEO of the fictional Gekko and Co. financial investment company from the movie Wall Street. The company hires young hotshot stockbroker Bud Fox, and makes massive profits in a series of sketchy business deals, including using insider information about Bluestar Airlines to score huge.
Unfortunately, Gekko’s financial scheming catches up with him and he eventually arrested for insider trading. Presumably, that is the end of Gekko and Co. as a company. However, Gekko himself returned in the 2011 sequel called Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Freshly released from jail and hawking a new book titled Is Greed Good?, Gekko schemes some more and managed to steal $100 million from his daughter’s trust fund, turning it into billions.
23. Wonka Candy Company
Willy Wonka and his mysterious candy factory are the source of much intrigue. Who wouldn’t be curious about an eccentric genius candy manufacturer who never leaves the factory, but still managed to produce some of the world’s best sweets?
In the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (plus the original book and the 2005 remake), we finally learned about Oompa-Loopas, rivers made of chocolate, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Wonkavision, and geese who lay Golden Eggs. It’s all very strange, but the Chocolate Factory itself is a magical — and dangerous — place.
From a financial perspective, it’s clearly very successful. Not only does it have one-of-a-kind technology inside, but Wonka himself funds a global Golden Ticket contest with the sole purpose of giving away the factory so he can retire. Charlie wins, of course, and presumably carries on the tradition of developing awesome new candy concoctions.
Cheers ran for 11 seasons and 275 total episodes. Not bad for a simple sitcom about a bunch of bar regulars from Boston. The show helped launch the careers of Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Shelly Long, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, and Kristie Alley (to name a few), but you could argue that the true star of the show was the bar itself. With the catchy tagline “where everybody knows your name,” the Cheers bar quickly became a beloved American institution — even though it wasn’t a real place.
The exterior shots used on the show were actually of a place called Bull & Finch Pub (which would later rebrand itself as Cheers Beacon Hill after the show’s success). The inside of that particular bar is completely different from the show, which was shot on a sound stage in Hollywood.
A number of officially licensed Cheers bars have been opened around the world, but we’re sure none of them compare to the hilarious bonding location from the original show. Also, none of them have Ted Danson as a bartender, instantly making them inferior in every way.
21. Callister Inc
There’s plenty of interesting fictional companies in Black Mirror, from the people who designed the killer robodogs in “Metalhead” to those who make the personal PVR called a Grain in “The Entire History of You.” That’s not even mentioning the cool dating app in “Hang the DJ,” which runs thousands of advanced relationship simulations to determine whether your someone if your soulmate or not.
For this article though, we’re going to focus on Callister Inc., the gaming company founded by James Walton and Robert Daly. It was named after the USS Callister, the spaceship of their favorite TV show Space Fleet (which is basically a tribute/direct rip off of Star Trek).
Callister Inc.’s main product is the advanced virtual reality game known as Infinity, a neverending MMO adventure where players can explore the universe and endless new planets. However, Daly secretly keeps a hacked copy of the game offline, and uses an advanced DNA digital cloner to populate his version of the game with co-workers who have annoyed him, where he makes them endure horrible fates for his own amusement.
20. The Krusty Krab
Although it may seem like just another fast food joint at the bottom of the sea, the Krusty Krab is actually one of the crown jewels of Bikini Bottom. Founded and owned by Eugene H. Krabs, this popular eating establishment has a secret weapons — the Krabby Patty.
The Krabby Patty is basically a burger, but one made with a top secret recipe that makes it stand out from the competition. The recipe is often sought after by local restaurant rival Plankton (who runs the Chum Bucket across the stree), but Mr. Krabs has managed to keep his secret safe for now.
The Krusty Krab also features two notable employees — SpongeBob SquarePants and Squidward Tentacles, who work as the fry cook and cashier, respectively. With distinctly opposite personalities, a visit to the Krusty Krab is always an interesting one.
19. Good Burger
“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?”
The titular restaurant of the 1997 Nickelodeon comedy film is nothing more than a standard fast food joint. However, when a pair of blundering employees (Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson) start working together, hijinks ensue. As the Mondo Burger across the road threatens their job security, Ed (Mitchell) develops a secret sauce to keep Good Burger in the game.
Later, they realize that Mondo Burger’s owner Kurt Bozwell is not only attempting to steal the recipe for the secret sauce, but that he’s lacing his burgers with an illegal additive. As they attempt to expose the secret, the misadventures get worse — including being locked in a mental hospital, a high speed escape in an ice cream truck, some shark poison, and ending with Mondo Burger exploding. That’s some “Employee of the Month” levels of dedication!
18. Weyland-Yutani Corporation
If you’ve ever wondered who keeps funding all those missions to space to track down Xenomorphs in the Alien franchise, it’s the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. As the name implies, it’s the result of a merger between British company Weyland Corp and Japanese outfit Yutani Corp. In the Alien cannon, the merger takes place in 2099. That’s why some movies that take place before only feature the Weyland Corporation, while movies that take place in the distant future use the combined Weyland-Yutani label.
The company is involved in many facets, including technology, space travel, shipping, military, resource management, space colonization, and weapons. It is typically portrayed as the cliche “evil corporation,” sacrificing environment and human life in favor of profits, growth, and research breakthroughs. One of their primary goals is to obtain a living sample of the Xenomorph, in order to use its biology to manufacture new weapons. Many employees have died horrible deaths while attempting to obtain it.
17. Burns Industries
Charles Montgomery Burns is the richest man in Springfield, owing his large fortune to the vast array of companies he owns. Obviously the Springfield Nuclear Plant is his main business, but he also owns a state prison, a casino, an opera house, various sports stadiums, and a couple web-based ventures. He’s not bulletproof though, as the Springfield Monorail, which Burns was also owner of, was a complete disaster. In The Simpsons‘ universe, perhaps only Hank Scorpio’s Globex Corporation can rival Burns Industries.
16. Buy n Large
Buy n Large started as a retail giant in the Pixar universe, similar to WalMart. In the futuristic film Wall-E, set in the year 2805, Earth’s obsession with consumerism, combined with the negligence of their environment, causes Buy n Large to move the entire population into massive starliners in space. Of course, Buy n Large’s focus on profits instead of people or the planet was probably part of the problem to begin with.
The International Secret Intelligence Service is the spy agency from Archer that specializes in international espionage. It is also possibly the most dysfunctional group of employees ever seen on the television screen, filled with alcoholics, liars, perverts, and people with various mental health issues. They also briefly turned themselves into a drug cartel. Unfortunately, the name ISIS was later adopted by a real life Islamic extremist group, forcing the show to quietly distance itself from the name entirely.
14. Paper Street Soap Company
Luxury department store soap sellers by day, social vigilantes and agents of chaos by night. The company owned and operated by Tyler Durden in Fight Club specializes in recipes for both fragrant bars of soap and nitro-glycerin, the latter of which is used to blow up buildings. The irony is that some of the raw material used to make the soap is actually fatty byproduct of liposuction treatments, prompting Tyler to joke about “selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.”
13. Men In Black
Much like the very real FBI or CIA, the organization known as MiB has far reaching powers. They are in charge of approving and monitoring all extra-terrestrial life on Earth. Notable members are Agent J (Will Smith), Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), and the late Agent Zed (Rip Torn). The Men in Black operate in secret, unknown by the general population. If you do ever find out about them, you can expect to be neuralyzed. There’s also a London branch, as seen in 2019’s Men in Black: International.
In the movie Idiocracy, a U.S. Army librarian is sent 500 years into the future during an accidental test of suspended animation. When he awakens, he finds himself the smartest man on the planet due the generational dumbing-down of natural selection. In the world’s lowered I.Q. state, the sports drink company Brawndo is allowed to purchase the FDA, FCC, and USDA and starts irrigating crops with their product, convincing people by adopting a new marketing tagline: “Brawndo: It’s Got What Plants Crave.” Everyone is stunned when the crops fail.
11. Aperture Science, Inc.
The experimental physics research facility exists in the Valve video game universes of Half-Life and Portal. The company was founded by charismatic visionary Cave Johnson and went on to create miracles of science, like the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, that can bend the rules of time and space. On the other hand, they also developed an artificial intelligence program named GLaDOS that enslaved humans and ran them through a series of deadly “tests.” Guess that’s why they are called “experiments.”
10. Lacuna, Inc.
Lacuna, Inc. is a revolutionary company that specializes in what was essentially a very delicate brain surgery. In the film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, they offered a service that could erase a person from your memory, most notably an ex-lover that keeps bringing back painful thoughts. The company isn’t without its faults though, as the doctor in charge of the whole thing has an affair with one of his employees, leading to a massive leak of private documents.
9. Monsters, Inc.
Another Pixar company makes our list, and this one had a whole movie made about it. In the world that exists on the other side of the closet doors of children, monsters have their own universe, complete with industry and universities. Instead of electricity though, their sole source of power is screams.
Monsters, Inc. is a scare factory that specializes in procuring screams from human children, and the main characters of the movie work there. Luckily, by the end of the movie, they realize there is a more valuable power source available and the factory converts itself into one that procures laughs, instead of screams.
8. Cyberdyne Systems
Cyberdyne develops advanced technologies to be used by the United States Defense Department in the Terminator franchise. However, they were also accidentally responsible for releasing Skynet, an advanced artificial intelligence protection program, and turning the machines against humanity. Ooops!
In a weird paradox, Cyberdyne gains almost all of their superior technological knowledge by reverse engineering the T-800 that was sent back in time in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. They then develop the entire Terminator line of robotic defense units, leading to one of the Arnold models being sent back in time to kill John Conor and leave the futuristic technology behind at Cyberdyne in the first place.
7. Los Pollos Hermanos
Los Pollos Hermanos is a fried chicken fast-food place owned by Gustavo Fring in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universes. While it is sometimes used to launder money from illegal meth rings, the legitimate side of the business is also pretty successful. The franchise had 14 locations throughout the South-West United States and describes their chicken as “slow-cooked to perfection… one taste, and you’ll know.”
6. Umbrella Corporation
The Umbrella Corporation is a massive conglomerate that has businesses in almost every major industry, from cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to military hardware and biological warfare research. They often cite a somewhat ominous employee pledge: “Obedience Breeds Discipline, Discipline Breeds Unity, Unity Breeds Power, Power is Life.” Unfortunately, they also slipped up and let the extremely dangerous T-virus get out, leading to the Resident Evil franchise of video games (and movies).
The Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion is a major crime syndicate that is behind most of the evil schemes in the James Bond franchise. They have ties to all of the world’s most infamous criminal organizations, like the Italian and Russian mafias, South American drug cartels, and many more. Many of Bond’s adversaries over the years have worked for SPECTRE. The 2015 entry in the iconic film franchise was actually titled Spectre, and featured Oscar-winning actor Christopher Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the mysterious mastermind at the head of Spectre.
4. Pied Piper
Pied Piper is the software start-up headed by the blundering genius Richard Hendricks in the hit HBO series Silicon Valley. It contains an algorithm that could revolutionize the way computer data is transferred and stored. It’s too bad that for all the technical intelligence that Hendricks and his employees have, they are terrible are actually running the business side of things, leading to multiple misadventures in the show that many people have called the “Entourage for Nerds.”
3. Planet Express, Inc.
Most of the time, Planet Express is a simple delivery company. Founded by Futurama‘s Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth so it could help fund his wacky scientific research projects, Planet Express is obviously more than just a delivery company. Their main mode of transportation is a space ship, and they employ a motley crew of staff that has somehow saved the universe on a few occasions. Seems like a pretty fun place to work, actually.
International Genetics Incorporated is a bioengineering firm that made a scientific breakthrough in the genetic cloning of extinct animals. That is a truly remarkable achievement! Everything was going great until they decided that a dinosaur theme park could help pay the bills. One system crash later, and a bunch of velociraptors and an angry T-Rex were tearing apart innocent tourists in Jurassic Park. They finally get their act together and make a successful theme park in Jurassic World, but just can’t help themselves. They create a genetically modified dino called the Indominus Rex that they aren’t ready to handle, and history repeats itself.
1. Stark Industries/Wayne Enterprises
These two are almost the same company in completely different universes. Stark Industries is headed up by billionaire playboy Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), while Wayne Enterprises is owned by billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). Both companies were originally founded by the fathers of their current respective owners, and both are responsible for the research and development of almost all of the gadgets and technology used by these two superheroes — everything from the Iron Man suit to the Batmobile. The comic universes of Marvel and D.C. wouldn’t be the same without these two gigantic companies.