Created By: SchrodingersDuck on January 17, 2008
Troped

Ancient Evil Council of Telephone Sanitizers

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The hero has inadvertently become involved with the Ancient Conspiracy or Corrupt Corporate Executive, who are secretly The Chessmaster of the impossibly confused Xanatos Roulette that the heroes find themselves in. But rather than being the Government, or the Masons, or the Illuminatti, its... the local fishmongers. This trope covers any kind of conspiracy within an organisation which doesn't even have enough influence to compete with the out-of-town shopping park, never mind orchestrate the downfall of all civilisation.

Examples:
  • In Read or Die, the Governments of the world are all merely puppets, secretly being controlled by that wretched hive of scum and villainy: The British Library.
  • In The Simpsons, a secret colony of super-powerful elves extend their influence... through horse racing.
    • Also in The Simpsons, the Mason-esque "Stonecutters" are shown to have infiltrated the Egg Council, for their own nefarious ends.
  • In The Demon Headmaster series, the head teacher of a small comprehensive secondary school attempts to take over the world using (in order): a school, a computer summer camp, a Merchandise-Driven TV show, a small time lab, a university computer lab, and, most amusingly, a nightclub.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • January 17, 2008
    arromdee
    Prefectural Earth Defense Force has a classic example.

    Though I think this is really two tropes: 1) the conspiracy is run by an organization which has no influence even in the story 2) the conspiracy is run by an organization with no influence in the real world, but a heck of a lot in the story (Read or Die)
  • January 17, 2008
    Silent_Hunter
    I assume you're aware about the telephone sanitisers in THGTTG.
  • January 17, 2008
    Patsy
    Does the Primatech Paper Company of Heroes count here?
  • January 17, 2008
    BobbyG
    Probably not, since it seems to be merely a front for a larger organisation, unless season 2 says otherwise and I just don't know about it yet.
  • January 17, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    Primatech probably doesn't count - it's a nondescript front created by a powerful organisation, rather than a powerful organisation that evolved from a nondescript company. The Linderman Group possibly counts though, seeing as how it was originally a small time casio which eventually came to control massive secret biotech labs, organised crime and even the Government.

    The organisations from Lost most definitely count, given that somehow, two grad students are able to have some vague but incredible sway over the world using nothing more than an abandoned military base, a pharmaceuticals company, a Korean car company and a chocolate bar manufacturer.
  • January 17, 2008
    CodeMan38
    Spoofed in Hot Fuzz, in which almost everyone in a quaint little town is involved in the conspiracy.
  • January 17, 2008
    ShayGuy
    Would the Order of the White Lotus from guess-which-Nick-series count? We haven't seen them do that much.
  • January 17, 2008
    Masami Phoenix
    We don't know enough about their history. If it turns out that they actually are a group of Pai Cho players that grew into an illuminati group, then yes. If it turns out that they're an illuminati group that uses Pai Cho as it's cover and title, than no. Similarly if it's a group of Pai Cho players that grew into a giant group of Pai Cho players who have little power other than to hide eachother, than no.
  • January 17, 2008
    Air of Mystery
    Don't jerk us around with confusing logic!
  • January 19, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    This is Up For Grabs if it can get a better name.
  • January 19, 2008
    StarBright
    Discworld had this in "Guards! Guards!"
  • January 22, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    ...How is this not Brotherhood Of Silly Hats?
  • January 22, 2008
    Masami Phoenix
    A) Brotherhood Of Silly Hats is generally more of a fraternity and rarely is actually a powerful illuminati group. B) Brotherhood Of Silly Hats rarely, if ever grows out of some seemingly innocent, generally-unwanted occupation such as janitors.
  • January 23, 2008
    ralphmerridew
    Narbonic: The Conspiracy
  • January 24, 2008
    StarBright
    Nah, Narbonic doesn't fit. It might sound ridiculous to have a conspiracy run by every guy named Dave, but in the world of the comic they seem to have a fair bit of influence. And anyone who does business with Hell and Doc Narbon is clearly a force to be reckoned with.
  • January 25, 2008
    Medinoc
    Reminds me a bit of Weird Trade Union...
  • January 25, 2008
    arromdee
    I don't think a conspiracy by guys named Dave is any worse than one by the British Library. As I said, I think there are two tropes here, or two versions: one where the the organization is powerless in real life and one where it's powerless even within the story.
  • January 26, 2008
    Cosmetor
    Why not call it Milkman Conspiracy, after the level of Psychonauts? That's properly evocative of all important aspects of the trope.
  • January 26, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    Milkman Conspiracy works well.

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