Some of the biggest companies is the real world can’t compare with those created in our favourite fictional universes. In the land of make believe, companies become much more than just simple money makers. They can innovate beyond belief, save (or destory) the planet, or just accidently 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 our picks for the 17 greatest (or at least most entertaining) fictional companies.
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. 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 was probably part of the problem to begin with.
The International Secret Intelligence Service is the company 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 also adopted by a real life Islamic extremist group, forcing the show to quietly distance itself from the name.
14. Paper Street Soap Company
Luxary 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.
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 ever find out about them, you can expect to be neuralyzed.
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.”
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 specialized in what was essentially 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, 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.
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 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 universe. 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.
The Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion is a major criminal 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 mafia. Many of Bond’s adversaries over the years have worked for SPECTRE. The latest film from the franchise will be aptly titled Spectre and scheduled to be released in late 2015.
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 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 that they aren’t ready to handle.
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.