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ACME Products

MANN CO.We make hats, guns, bats, bombs, bazookas, camera beards, comics, magazines, portable baccarat detectors, banners, swords, shields, and get in fights. Non-employees welcome for "Gorilla Wrestling Fridays".
Sign outside Mann Co., Team Fortress 2's Blood Brothers Comic'

Your one-stop shop for a variety of products which may or may not function exactly as advertised. Renowned for express shipping that has FedEx drooling in jealousy.

For this wiki's purposes, an Acme Corporation is any generic corporation that seems to supply everything a character, or entire cast, uses. These supplies are, of course, Acme products. Not to be confused with any of the myriad non-fictional objects and entities bearing the moniker (which is what our Trope Namer was making fun of at the time).

The eponymous example appears most famously in classic Warner Brothers cartoons featuring Wile E. Coyote (hinted to be the company's QA tester), whose more elaborate plans involved Acme catapults, earthquake pills, bat suits, spring shoes, and so on; the Coyote's undying faith in Acme Corp, despite the endemic flaws and defects, is one of the mysteries of this series. Bugs Bunny and other characters made use of their services as well, with better results.

See also Mega Corp., We Sell Everything.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Geico once ran commercials featuring Acme Insurance as its competitor.

    Comics 

    Film 
  • Older than Television: Harold Lloyd comedy Never Weaken (1921), in which Harold uses "Acme Soap Flakes" to make a road slippery.
  • 1941 had an Acme Turpentine warehouse. Had as in before it got wrecked.
  • The Weyland-Yutani company from the Alien series of films seems to be one of these, being involved in government, interstellar shipping, attempts at biological weaponry, colonization of planets, and warfare. As of the fourth movie, they have been bought up by Wal-Mart.
  • In the movie Braindead uncle Les uses an Acme brand clothes mangle.
  • In the filme of The Losers, the team has to hack into a hard drive from Goliath International, which makes "pretty much everything."
  • Omni Consumer Products (OCP) from RoboCop also produces everything from weapons, to simple consumer products, to the eponymous hero.
  • In the movie Spaceballs all products seen are Spaceballs brand, due to Yogurt's ownership of the film's own merchandising rights.
  • Roy makes use of Acme to get the robot dog he needs to defeat RoboCat in the cartoon portion of Stay Tuned, being a Genre Savvy couch potato TV addict.
  • Everything humanity uses in WALL•E is produced by Buy N Large. Which is apparently also the government.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit the president of the Acme Corporation is a nice chap, Marvin Acme, whose lost will becomes the MacGuffin.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Acme is headed by a Corrupt Corporate Executive, the movie's Big Bad, who, not coincidentally, counts Wile E. Coyote among his hired goons.
    Acme Chairman: My God man, what am I going to do with you? You've done nothing but screw up! You've walked off of mesas, been smashed by boulders and run over by diesel trucks! And don't blame the equipment! The equipment is good! It's Acme equipment! You're a coyote! Be wily!
  • In Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, Nancy's doctors use Acme Medical Supplies to get everything they need to keep her sedated and restrained. The deliveryman is incredulous at the order, which includes morphine and plasma by the gallon, an elephant syringe, and lengths of heavy chain and meat hooks.

    Literature 
  • The RAMJAC Corporation is a fictional multinational conglomerate, or Mega Corp., featured in several novels by Kurt Vonnegut. In Jailbird, the company at its height owns 19 percent of the United States. Every time any product or corporation is mentioned, it is also mentioned that it is owned by the RAMJAC Corporation.
  • The novel The Quillan Games in the Pendragon series features the territory of Quillan, in which the Blok corporation, which started as a general store, evolved until it completely controlled the territory, and produce everything, from food to buildings to artwork, on the planet. If it doesn't have the name "Blok" on it, it probably doesn't exist or is boarded up underground with a factory or concentration camp built over it.
  • The Pixler corporation in Abarat doesn't have a monopoly, but it likes to say in its marketing copy that it will provide for you from cradle to grave—which it very well may, given that it runs both hospitals and funeral centers. In between, it provides everything from food to education. (And yes, these people are evil.)
  • Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series has the Goliath Corporation. Its motto is "For all you'll ever need."
  • The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy produces most of the sentient robots, sentient computers, and sentient elevators (It Makes Sense in Contextnote ) seen in the series. They have a very poor reputation and at one point it's mentioned that their complaints division is the only part of the company that turns a profit (and that seems to be true because of the SCC's motto "Share and Enjoy").
  • CHOAM (Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles) is a massive entity in Dune which, more or less, controls the sale of everything - essentially a mass amalgamation of craft and guilds.
    • To a lesser extent the Spacing Guild, who are a strangulatory monopoly (and own about a third of CHOAM's stock) as the only entity capable of space travel and the only owners of interstellar ships - all of CHOAM's goods require them, and they take a hefty cut of profit, as well as all transport or movement - without the Guild, the Empire, and CHOAM, collapses.
  • The humor book How To Be A Genius on 50p A Week recommended El Guffo products, a company strongly hinted to be owned by the author.
  • In the Discworld novels, CMOT Dibbler Enterprises, while mostly associated with meat pies and sausage in a bun, will sell pretty much anything, as long as it isn't something where actual functionality is a concern. In the business directory section of The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide, the Dibbler name is attached to beauty products, patent medicines, spirits, shampoos, and adult magazines, as well as the famous pies and such services as taking bets, offering loans and flyposting.

    Live Action TV 
  • Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete had this, with everyone listening to Krebstar radios and wearing Kreb of the Loom underwear.
  • Max Headroom had Zik Zak. Motto: "We make everything you need, and you need everything we make."
  • The Prescott group, fictional sponsor of The Colbert Report, has a branch in every industry.
  • Leesburg, the primary setting of The Millers, has various establishments that all have the same owner: a person/family/company by the name of McGee. These places range from yogurt stands to restaurants (including a Irish-Chinese fusion restaurant) to a strip club.
  • Veridian Dynamics not only designs and makes anything you can imagine but finds some sort of evil use for all of it.
  • In LOST, every type of food and drink employed by the DHARMA Initiative is DHARMA-brand food.
    • There's also the Widmore Corporation and its subsidiaries (Widmore Labs, Widmore Construction, Widmore Industries)
  • Parodied in the mini-series Fresno, where the Acme Toxic Waste Company is owned by..... Mr Acme.
  • Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta has the Tabajara Organizations, "a monopolist megaconglomerate" with products that usually have names in pseudo-English.
  • MADtv had the company Spishak, which made everything from cleaning products to medicine. The products ranged from useless to having unfortunate side effects.
  • The Shutsu Tonka Unitocracy in DAAS Kapital.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show! has Gloopy Products (P). A (fake) commercial for each of their products is shown Once per Episode.
  • On Cheers Norm has a home decorating business which he names "AAAAAAAAAAA" in order to be listed first in the phone book.
  • Grocery products featured on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood were typically of the made-up "Neighborhood" brand (for example, Neighborhood Cat Food).
  • Mr. Show has GloboChem, one of the few recurring aspects in the Sketch Comedy show. Their motto is even "We Own Everything So You Don't Have To."
  • Dinosaurs has Wesayso, which seems to be mostly in construction, but is also used as the go-to company whenever a Mega Corp. is needed.
  • The Farscape episode "Revenging Angel"(which was one long love letter to Looney Tunes cartoons), had Ozme products.

    Pinball 

    Roleplaying Games 
  • Deadlands: Smith & Robards has everything a player character will ever need, all the way to customized submarines. And for the cash-strapped, there's always El Cheapo, which is similar but far less reliable.
  • Toon: The Cartoon RPG has the Ace Company, purveyor of all sorts of crazy props for Toon characters.

    Theatre 
  • General Products in The Solid Gold Cadillac is a diversified conglomerate manufacturing everything from locomotives to clocks to bobby pins.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock
    • BioShock: The fact that Andrew Ryan has his name plastered all over products and establishments in Rapture (Ryan Industries) could be considered an example.
      • There was also Fontaine Futuristics, the company that Frank Fontaine owned before Ryan took it over. In the original it was established that it was the second most successful brand in Rapture, but it wasn't until Infinite's Burial at Sea DLC hat we learned they made everything; toys, clothes, jewelry, weapons, genetic wonder drugs.
    • BioShock 2 introduces Sinclair Solutions, which actually manufactured many of products that Ryan and Fontaine sold. Sinclair also had hundreds of unrelated establishments such as hotels, booze shops, and prisons.
    • BioShock Infinite continues the proud tradition - everything in Columbia is made by "Fink Mfg.", owned by one Mr. Jeremiah Fink.
  • Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil series.
  • Aperture Science from Portal. Every single element, item or device used in the countless tests is Aperture-branded product, and that includes the sentient computer running the place. Not bad for a company that started out designing parts for shower curtains.
  • Elite Beat Agents: The ABCD sporting goods company ranges from footballs to Olympic athlete's track suits.
  • Ground Control had the Mega Corp. Crayven which produced food (such as the "Crayven Crunchbars"), combat armour, starships, had a military force, sponsored several frontier colonies and owned a multitude of TV channels. Oddly, Crayven did not produce Crayven brand weapons. Its armaments came from a sister-corporation called Wellby-Simms instead.
  • An awful lot of products in the Nancy Drew games, from antique ham radios to modern office equipment, were made by Krolmeister. In Secret of the Old Clock, you even get to go there, delivering telegrams to the Krolmeister nail factory.
    • It's Lampshaded in Danger by Design, in which a newspaper article announces that Krolmeister has just bought the Acme Corporation!
    • Trail of the Twister introduces Mr. Krolmeister himself, as a phone-voice. You get to ask him how many products his company actually makes; he muses about it, mentioning some examples (salad dressing, industrial equipment...), before admitting he has no idea.
  • The Frobozz Magic Company in Zork, with amusing subdivision names like Frobozz Exploding Paper Company and Frobozz Wizard Slaying Nasal Spray Company. Also a Mega Corp., since at the end of the reign of Dimwit Flathead, 100% of all commerce in Quendor was owned by FrobozzCo.
  • The Ultor Corporation in several Volition-made games (i.e. Saints Row, Red Faction) are a clothing label, a mining company, and invest in extensive city redevelopment.
  • Ratchet & Clank has Gadgetron, which supplies the hero's weapons and equipment. He actually gets to save it from an attack in the first game. Future games introduce Megacorp, Vox Industries and GrummelNet.
  • Team Fortress 2, or more accurately, its expanded universe of the Valve blog, features "Mann Co.", with the slogan "We Sell Products And Get In Fights". Mann Co. is actually a subsidiary of the even larger TF Industries, which also owns RED and BLU and all of their subsidiaries.
  • Syn Tek Megacorporation from Alien Swarm. Everything from drinks to weaponry to medicine and synthetic drugs is made by them.
  • The Lezareno company from Tales of Symphonia which handles everything in Tethe'alla, from mining operations to making incredibly bad-smelling perfume (which the president of the company, Regal Bryant, deeply apologises for and immediatley stops the production of when smelling it for the first time).
  • The Madagascar video game has a few ACME products, mainly a cardboard box which you use to sneak past people as the Penguins.
  • While on Illium in Mass Effect 2, listen closely to the advertisements in the background. Nearly all of them, regardless of the product (snacks, asari beauty products, experimental medical treatments) end with the phrase "a division of Elkoss Combine".

    Web Animation 
  • Cheap as Free in Homestar Runner (with a few exceptions: Compy computers, Videlectrix video games, and Cold Ones beer).

    Webcomics 
  • MSF High: Miss Fenris runs one of these, with lots of fine print.

    Web Originals 
  • Doctor Steel seems to order some of his supplies from them; he can produce a large hammer or lit stick of dynamite at will...
  • Dynamic Utility Products, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe produces everything from cigarette lighters to machine guns to playing cards. You can find DUP's products in every home in America, practically. They're secretly a front for TAROT, the world's greatest criminal organization.
  • Roy and Simon use Acme products several times during their cartoon battles in The Cartoon Man and its sequel.

    Western Animation 
  • Mickey Mouse cartoons from the '30s and '40s often featured a similar company called Ajax, although this varied between being an actual Acme-style corporation and being Mickey's rink-a-dink entrepreneurial outfits ("Ajax Clock Cleaners, we clean clocks!" "Ajax Ghost Hunters, we hunt ghosts!" etc.) However, the Donald Duck short Cured Duck featured an "Acme Garage".
  • The Trope Namer comes from ACME Products, frequently used in Looney Tunes cartoons, especially the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner shorts, in which the coyote orders tons of products from ACME that he tries to use to catch the Road Runner.
    • In a Cartoon Network advertisement, Wile E sued ACME over their malfunctioning equipment, and was awarded a prime-time slot.
    • Bounty Hamster spoofed this, by having an unnamed coyote recommend that Marion get a better catalogue.
    • In one Looney Tunes short comic it was revealed that the ACME agent Wile E. goes to so he can pick up his equipment is Bugs Bunny in disguise, which may have something to do with why they never work the way they are supposed to.
    • Defictionalization: You can get yourself a copy of an Acme Catalog, detailing some of the various Acme items from the Looney Tunes cartoons.
  • The Acme Corp. for Garfield and Friends was Schlocko, purveyor of various Ron Popeil-type novelty items.
    • Little Gem was also used a few times.
  • The Pink Panther uses Acme products on several occasions.
  • In The Replacements everything is made by Fleemco.
  • Invoked with Krusty Brand products in The Simpsons, though the reason tends to be Krusty the Clown's willingness to approve every license handed to him.
    • Subverted since Krusty Brand products are universally poorly made, dangerous and in some cases, cursed.
    • There are also the Li'l Bastard products.
  • Even Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers had an Acme product: the Acme Majestic Ultra-light All-Weather Fiberglass Volcano as shown in the episode "Gadget Goes Hawaiian".
  • In The Proud Family they have Wizard Kelly products. Most everything is sold under the name of Wizard Kelly or Wiz.
    • Which was a gag about basketball legend and successful businessman Magic Johnson, who owns everything from theaters to restaurants to a line of hair care products in the black community. He single-handedly convinced major corporations that there was money to be made targeting the black community.
  • Pinky and the Brain live at Acme Labs. We don't see them making a ton of bizarre roadrunner-busting products, but turning lab animals into evil geniuses who want to Take Over the World...sounds about right.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, most products and businesses have a sign or logo for AOL Time Warner, the actual parent company of Turner Broadcasting. Additionally, almost every store and service has the ending -lux (Javalux coffee, etc.)
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, everything is made by Misery Inc...unfortunately.
  • Conglom-O from Rocko's Modern Life was either this, or a corrupt Mega Corp., depending on episode needs.
  • A short on Oh Yeah! Cartoons had a company called "Apex" that specialized in cartoon props and gadgets; the plot of the cartoon revolved around a fox and a weasel sneaking along on a tour of their factory to get their hands on some of these gadgets.
  • A Disney's Doug (actually Quailman) episode features S.T.U.A.R.T., a company that makes all sorts of products which malfunction and fail on purpose just to annoy their users as much as possible.
  • In the "first in the phone book" category (see Real Life examples), in the Duckman episode "Haunted Society Plumbers" Duckman and Cornfed use "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA1 Plumbing" as a cover business. That's 25 "A"s, though in a gag to draw out the joke as long as possible, some characters use the "A" only 24 or 21 times in spite of it. There are also too many to fit on the van (not sure offhand how many).
  • Tiny Toon Adventures is set in a town called Acme Acres. Guess what product brand is always used.
  • The Jetsons has, in one episode, Nebulous Nifty, who make a lot of interesting, useful products, that promptly self-destruct. Spacely, George Jetson's employer, merges his company with them, and the sign goes up on the company building, only for George to warn him that their products self-destruct, much like the building eventually did.
  • Smarty Mart in Kim Possible stocks everything from clothing to livestock.

    Real Life 
  • Chuck Jones, creator of this trope's namesake company, attributes his usage to the large number of fly-by-night companies that named themselves Acme in order to be first in the yellow pages. Acme, which means "the highest point" or pinnacle, struck him as particularly funny. To this day, it is rather fun to call one of these businesses and ask if they have any products that can be used to kill a roadrunner.
    • There's a chain of supermarkets in the northeastern U.S. called ACME Markets, but they don't quite sell everything.
    • Warner Bros. animators may have used Acme brand drawing boards or camera stands.
    • In fact, the peg-bars used by animators to hold multiple sheets of paper in place were Acme brand during Warner Brothers' most prolific Looney Tunes years. Since animators spent all day staring at "ACME", they incorporated it into the cartoons.
    • There's also an A-1 company but that's bit obscure for most viewers.
    • A few companies also name themselves "ABC *product or service*", for the same reasons.
    • Funnily enough, in the Toronto phone book one can find companies named AA (whatevers), AAA, or (in extreme cases) AAAAAAAAA in an attempt to get ever higher on the listings. "Acme" would actually be relegated to the second or third page.
    • And there's Italian railway model manufacturer that goes by this name. Their logo has a bomb embedded into it for some reason. It's unclear whether it's a shout-out to the cartoons or not.
      • A broadcasting company mostly made up of former The WB affiliates is named Acme Communications, in honor of the Warner Bros. usage.
      • This is the same in Brazil. You can find companies called 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA A Dry Cleaner'.
      • A blinds company in Cork once was known as 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA blinds'. That's thirty seven uses of the letter a. They've since cut it down to just 'AAAA blinds'.
      • Homestar Runner references this in the Strong Bad Email "your funeral", where Homestar reads from the phone book: "Aardvark Pizza. Abe Lincoln's Pizza Cabin. Acupuncture & Pizza."
  • The Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalog, which was your one stop shop for everything you could every possibly want (and much you didn't)... at least until around World War II when demographic changes moved people away from rural areas to suburban zones. Sears even sold cars and houses via catalog.
    • One of the products found in an early 20th century Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog is an actual Acme anvil
    • In western Montana, there are many "painted ladies" - 1900-era houses - which started out as Sears prefab houses and are still inhabited or used as storefronts.
    • Bringing us around to one sad point: the Sears catalogue ended in 1993. The Internet hit big in 1995. If only they had held out a mere two more years, Amazon might have remained just a bookseller.
  • In early 20th century Canada it was the Eaton's catalogue, well-known for including everything from diamond jewelry to prefab houses. It was multi-purpose, too, since last year's catalog was this year's outhouse accessory.
  • Nowadays, though, most catalogs are specialty. The closest to the old Sears catalog you can get nowadays is Sharper Image or, for all you frequent flyers out there, Skymall.
  • Walmart, Target, and Sears fill this role today.
    • In Europe, Tesco and Aldi rule with an iron fist. Tesco is even moving into China and Korea.
  • Acme is the largest supplier of glass Klein bottles. If only Wile E. had had one of these, that stupid bird would be his in no time.
  • Sony. Currently dealing in consumer and industrial electronics (including laptops, phones, camcorders, cameras and radios), home entertainment, media production (including TV, Film and Music), electronic components, industrial chemicals, videogames (both games and consoles), batteries, toys, robots, banks, and life insurance.
  • Likewise, Mitsubishi, known in the US only as a car manufacturer, does everything in its homeland. Just check the list of subdivisions on their Wikipedia entry for a quick-and-dirty rundown.
  • Like the two listed above: General Electric has a massive line of products ranging from lightbulbs to household appliances to railroad locomotives and jet aircraft engines.
  • Samsung is also known for various subsidiaries.See the wikipedia entry.
  • CD-R King, known in the Philippines for selling blank recordable media and memory cards, and usually caters to internet kiosk owners. As mentioned earlier, they do sell CD-Rs, but has since ventured into selling a myriad of items, all to the point of carrying things not normally found in a gadget store like rice cookers, and even electric bicycles! This became a source of humour with Filipinos, who jokingly suggested that they might be carrying even more unlikely items such as frozen fish or helicopters. And like Acme, they're derided by some for their products' hit-and-miss build quality - some items work reliably for a long time, while others would work for days or months but eventually break down or malfunction.
  • The Tata Group in India, supplier of many products including automobiles, energy, and tea.
  • The number one hit on Google for "Acme Labs" unfortunately doesn't count. Acme.com is owned by a software developer named Jef Poskanzer, and it mostly specializes in toy programs that amuse the site owner. A phase-of-the-moon app, some interesting Java graphics hacks, and a couple of different web server designs are long-standing marquee items; there is also a "chocolate registry" that lets you request chocolate from people, like a wedding registry. (And it has an anvil as a logo.)
  • Amazon is heading in this direction. They started as a straight-up bookseller.
  • Don't forget eBay!
  • The Companhia União Fabril ("Manufacturing Union Company"). It was, before the Carnation Revolution, the largest company in Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula, one of the five largest ones in Europe, and one of the 100 largest in the world. While mainly known as a chemical company, especially in fertilizers, for they were produced under the main company name, it also operated in other sectors, such as: cement, petrochemicals, textiles, beer, beverages, metallurgy, naval construction, electrical equipment, oilseeds, insurance, banking, wood pulp, tourism, mining, etc. In fact, there is still a company with the same name (although not the same company) owned by the family who owned the old CUF, centering around chemicals, and hundreds of other spin-off companies which might be or not be owned by the same family who owned the old CUF. Their slogan, BTW, was "O que o país não tem, a CUF cria" ("What the country [Portugal] doesn't have, CUF creates").


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alternative title(s): A Company Makes Everything
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