->'''Den Mother:''' Would you care to join us in our Rainbow Squirt Pledge of Purpose?\\
'''Rainbow Squirts''': To promote niceness. To make the world prettier. To share candy with everyone. To obfuscate the true nature of the Milkman. To protect the Milkman at all costs. To destroy all who would harm the Milkman, or threaten to reveal his secret objective.
-->-- ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', [[TropeNamer in the eponymous level]]

A Milkman Conspiracy is any conspiracy operating from an organization so pathetically uninfluential that it should by all rights barely be able to overcome zoning regulations, yet is somehow able to sink its fangs into vast swathes of the Earth. Named for a level of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' in which the paranoid fantasies of one of the characters involve being a milkman-spy at the center of a war between an army of secret agents and... a troop of [[GirlScoutsAreEvil homicidal Girl Scouts]].

If the organization is not secret, this becomes just a WeirdTradeUnion. If it is not powerful even in the story, this is a BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats. It may also turn out to be a {{Mockspiracy}}.

Compare AlmightyJanitor and TheDogWasTheMastermind.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' spinoff ''[[Anime/RODTheTV Read or Die the TV]]'', the governments of the world are all merely puppets, secretly being controlled by that wretched hive of scum and villainy: The British Library.
* In ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'', CERN--sorry, [[BlandNameProduct SERN]]--have secretly been trying to create time travel, killing at least 14 human tests subjects in the process, and have a network of armed agents called Rounders that are recruited through cellphone texts. In the timelines where they complete it they immediately use it to take over the world and turn it into an impossibly bleak {{dystopia}}. The visual novel [[SubvertedTrope reveals that the true masterminds]] are the [[TheIlluminati Committee of 300.]]
* AEGIS from ''VideoGame/GateKeepers'' is a secret global unit created to wage a secret war against the Invaders. It has the highest military clearance and it has authority over any army. It just so happens its most visible members are ''high school students''.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The card game ''TabletopGame/{{Illuminati}}'' occasionally displays this. While you typically need to have groups that would logically be powerful, small ones help you out as well; people can win by taking control of the Furries.
** Indeed, a classic example in game is the "Secret Masters Of Fandom attack to control California."

* In ''Film/HotFuzz'', a vast campaign of murder and intimidation is covered up by a conspiracy of [[spoiler:a few village shops, the local pub, and the local Chief Inspector, all for the purposes of ensuring they continue to win the "Village of the Year" award]].
* The 1967 film ''Film/ThePresidentsAnalyst'' features a plot to enslave all humanity masterminded by [[spoiler: TPC ('''T'''he '''P'''hone '''C'''ompany)]]. This group, or at least its real-world equivalent, used to have a bit more power and influence than most in this list.
* Hilarious subversion in the film ''Film/TheStupids''. The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin titular family]] ''believe'' they've uncovered one of these, involving the police, garbage collectors, the New York Times, the local deli, the local Chinese restaurant, and bees ([[MemeticMutation my God]]) to steal all the world's mail and deliver it to a man called "Sender" (Creator/ChristopherLee!) (because the father, who used to be a mailman, got suspicious about all those letters that said [[WhatAnIdiot "return to sender"]]). The twist is that, not only does this conspiracy not exist, but in their efforts to thwart it, the Stupids manage to [[SpannerInTheWorks mess up an actually dangerous conspiracy entirely by accident]]. Oh, and they find Sender, and he turns out to be, not Christopher Lee, but [[Series/CaptainKangaroo Bob Keeshan]]!
* ''Film/JamesBond''
** The "purely philanthtopic" [[Film/{{Thunderball}} International Brotherhood for the Assistance of Stateless Persons]] is actually a front for [[Film/JamesBond SPECTRE]]. MI6 has Universal Exports, which deals in, [[CaptainObvious well, exports]].
** In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', Auric Enterprises, an international jewellers, is engaged in gold smuggling, murder, nuclear terrorism and conspiracy with Red China.
** In ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'', a laboratory in the Swiss Alps for curing allergies is a front for Blofeld's secret bio-weapons facility for developing bacteria designed to cause sterility in plants and animals of his choice, presumably including humanity itself.
** Inverted in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', where the billionaire Willard Whyte's enterprises have been hijacked by Blofeld to engage in diamond smuggling and terrorism... all controlled from a hotel in Vegas.
** In ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'', the Fillet of Soul Jazz Bars all seem to have secret lairs behind the booths or underground. They are part of a massive heroin ring run by drug baron Mr. Big for Caribbean dictator Dr. Kananga ([[spoiler: who are actually the same person]]), through which is employed nearly every black person everywhere.
** In ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'', the Stromberg Shipping Line hijacks nuclear submarines in a bid to start WorldWarThree and restart civilization in an underwater city.
** Drax Industries' ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' space shuttle programme wants to wipe out humanity and start over with a race of [[{{Ubermensch}} ubermenschen]] astronauts.
** Zorin Industries in ''Film/AViewToAKill'' is engaged in a horse-race fixing scheme where steroids are secretly administered to horses via microchip to win races, as well as a scheme to flood Silicon Valley and dominate the microchip industry.
** In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Elliott Carver's media group blackmails the President into signing bills, sells software filled with bugs to force buyers to constantly upgrade, may or may not have run Mad Cow Disease stories out of revenge because the boss was owed money from a British beef baron from a poker game who refused to pay (and then ran the stories for another year because the French paid him to do so), and engages in murder, conspiracy, and a plot to bring the world to the brink of WorldWarThree ''in a bid to get broadcasting rights in China'', for which end it sinks a British navy ship (after luring it off course into Chinese waters), steals a ballistic missile from it, and frames them for shooting down a Chinese fighter jet, before having Stamper machine-gun all the survivors with Chinese ammunition in time for the morning edition. Allegedly able "to topple governments with a single broadcast", and appears to engineer disasters regularly for the sake of ratings, which also allows them to be the first to report on events. The bosses' motto is "There's no news like ''bad'' news" which is exemplified in this little exchange:
--->'''Newsman''': Floods in Pakistan, riots in Paris and a plane crash in California.
--->'''Carver''': Excellent.
** In ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', Greene Planet, a Greenpeace-style environmental organization, is part of a grander Illuminati-like group and is responsible for setting up dictators and monopolizing Bolivia's water supply, causing massive drought, as well as accusing the government of selling thousands of acres of rainforest to greedy developers to cut down even though they actually sold them to Greene Planet, who ''then'' resold them to the developers. Manages to get the CIA involved too.
* In ''Film/DrStrangelove'', General Ripper tries to start nuclear war with the Russians over one such conspiracy. While tampering with our water supply would be a good way to deal a lethal blow to major population centers in the United States, Ripper comes to the conclusion that the Russians are doing this because when he tried having sex his "essence" was denied exit from his body. If he had seen people dying or getting sick from drinking water then there would be some validity to Ripper's claim, but as it stands The General brought on nuclear war with Russia just because he couldn't get it up.
* ''Film/TheInternational'' is about a corrupt bank that secretly has for clients everyone from democratic governments to dictators, criminals and terrorists, and considered so big and important that FailureIsTheOnlyOption for the heroes trying to bring it down, as if they succeed another such bank will simply take its place. To make matters worse, it was inspired ''by true events''.
* ''Film/TheGrandBudapestHotel'' features a benevolent one. M. Gustave is a member of the Society of Crossed Keys, a secret international network of hotel concierges. In a late part of the movie, Gustave requests their help to [[spoiler: find Serge, the witness of a murder which main suspect is Gustave (he is also the victim's butler).]]
* The Friends of Italian Opera in ''Film/SomeLikeItHot''.
* The ending of ''Film/TheCobbler'' has Creator/AdamSandler's character discover that Cobblers are secretly an elite group dedicated to fighting crime with shape-shifting powers.
* According to ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'', "the fashion industry has been behind every major political assassination over the last 200 years," including John Wilkes Booth ("the first actor/model") and [[WhoShotJFK "those lookers on the grassy knoll" who really shot John F. Kennedy]].
* ''Film/TheShadow'' is head of this. He has allies in all levels of New York society who do favors for him for saving their lives. They all wear a red ring as identification.
* In ''Film/TheUncanny'', Wilbur believes that cats are at the centre of a massive conspiracy to control humans, and will murder anyone who discovers the truth. The end of the film indicates he is probably right.

* In ''Literature/TheDemonHeadmaster'' series, the[[strike:headteacher]] headmaster of a small [[TheGoodOldBritishComp comprehensive secondary school]] attempts to take over the world using (in order): a school, a computer summer camp, a MerchandiseDriven TV show, a small-time lab, a university computer lab and, most amusingly, a nightclub. And then, a school. Again. This time a different school, with a different plan, but still a school.
* In ''Literature/TheIlluminatusTrilogy'', the ''real'' Illuminati, [[spoiler:the one of which Hagbard Celine is Primus,]] maintains its control over world affairs by operating through [[spoiler:Discordians and anarchists, two groups of people who by their very nature are disorganized and individualistic.]]
* Creator/TomHolt's books feature a literal milkman conspiracy as imagined by Danny Bennett, a journalist hellbent on proving that the real power behind world governments lies with... the Milk Marketing Board.
* ''Literature/TheCryingOfLot49'' features a vast conspiracy which is either a secret postal service masquerading as a swingers' club, or an eccentric dead man's estate masquerading as a secret postal service masquerading as a swingers' club, for a prank. Needless to say, [[MindScrew the protagonist's just as confused as you are]]. Don't expect anything to be explained.
** W.A.S.T.E - '''W'''e '''A'''wait '''S'''ilent '''T'''ristero's '''E'''mpire.
* V.F.D. in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' sometimes resembles this; many of its members work as teachers, librarians, or taxi drivers (hence, it is [[ParanoiaFuel strongly implied that such innocuous-seeming people in the reader's own life could be involved]]), and they often carry out plots in bizarre, inefficient ways. Making the whole thing more complicated is that, due to a schism a while back, half of it is a BenevolentConspiracy working against the other half, but they both use the same techniques which they devised before the schism. Incidentally, V.F.D. turns out to stand for [[spoiler:Volunteer Fire Department]].
* In the book ''Michaelmas,'' the benevolent secret ruler of the planet is a respected TV journalist in the Walter Cronkite mode.
* In ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'', Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder ([[MagnificentBastard magnificent bastard extraordinaire]]) is only the head of the mess hall, but manages to become more powerful than any of the generals by organizing a vast international trading company through the mess hall.
** By the same token, ex-PFC Wintergreen (yes, ''ex-Private First Class''; he keeps getting demoted, but at the end of the book he's an ex-Corporal), the mail room clerk, is the most powerful man in the US Army and the de facto European Commander because he handles all significant communications between the brass and every time he sees an order he doesn't like, he chucks it in the trash. At one point it is claimed that he delayed the Normandy invasion until more armor was committed.
*** Highly exaggerated form of TruthInTelevision.
* The Literature/DarkHeresy novel ''Scourge'' the Heretic briefly mentions this when it becomes apparent that a people-smuggling conspiracy has its hideout in a former mining shaft now in use for growing mushrooms (by the Fraternity of Comestibles for the Cultivation of Edible Fungi), though it's immediately noted that they probably just don't have any idea what goes on in their holdings.
* Creator/BrandonSanderson's middle-grade series ''[[Literature/AlcatrazSeries Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians]]'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. The librarians secretly control the whole world (or what we Hushlanders know of it, anyway.) Though if you think about it, knowledge IS power...
* Deconstructed in ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'': Nemo and his crew use the submarine ''[[CoolShip Nautilus]]'' as a means to [[{{Fiction500}} loot lost sunken treasures]], [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters which they use to finance insurrections against]] [[TheEmpire imperialistic nations]], and more directly as a WeaponOfMassDestruction (for its time) against one of those nations. They have [[MaddenIntoMisanthropy severed all contact to the civilized world]] [[FromMyOwnPersonalGarden and get all their resources from the sea,]] [[ConLang have created their own language]], and [[{{Egopolis}} have reached and claimed the South Pole]]. The ''Nautilus'' [[StartMyOwn is truly a new society]] with NGOSuperpower status composed of... [[OddlySmallOrganization less than sixty persons]]. Less than four years after its creation, Nemo's existence has been discovered by TheEmpire, [[TheWarOnTerror all the Western nations have organized against them and are chasing them implacably]]. [[RealityEnsues Their numbers are declining because of war casualties and normal accidents]], and the leader, [[TheCaptain charismatic Captain Nemo]] is not only bitterly aware that their days are numbered (he plans to use a MessageInABottle when the last of the crew die, so all his sea research would not be lost), [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity but is slowly breaking down as a result of using a]] WeaponOfMassDestruction to cross the MoralEventHorizon once and again.
** In ''Literature/TheMysteriousIsland'', only the arrival of the colonists saves Nemo from dying alone with all of his crew dead and the ''Nautilus'' trapped at Lincoln Island -- and gives him a new, arguably more noble purpose.
* Vaguely implied in Creator/LordDunsany's short story "Why the Milkman Shudders When He Perceives the Dawn". The Ancient Company of Milkmen seems to be hiding, or be aware of, ''some'' dark secret, [[spoiler:but we're never told exactly why it ''is'' that the Milkman shudders when he perceives the dawn]].
* The Literature/{{Discworld}} ''[[AllThereInTheManual Fools' Guild Diary]]'' reveals that jesters of the Guild regularly report the public and private doings of their respective royal patrons to Dr. Whiteface, leader of the Guild. In effect, it's a huge spy network that covertly monitors various petty kingdoms in the region, to its own profit and advantage.
** The [[SecretCircleOfSecrets Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night]] from ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' is made up of one ambitious and cunning manipulator who makes all the plans, and a whole bunch of petty losers who are in the secret society business to get revenge on people like "the lady at the fruit stall who keeps looking at me funny" and "my brother-in-law who just bought a fancy coach that I wouldn't be able to afford."
* The eponymous witches in Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheWitches'' use the "Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children" as a front for their plot to exterminate the children of England.
* The Order of Maesters from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is just seen as a bunch of learned old men who mentor the children of the nobility. It is becoming gradually however revealed that the Maesters have influenced Westeros history from behind the scenes, and that [[spoiler: they, the Faith of the Seven and House Hightower are part of a vast conspiracy to suppress magic and replace it with science]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheAvengers'':
** It featured another literal milkman conspiracy in the episode "False Witness", with the added twist that the dairy produced was absolutely central to their scheme. The series also featured, on other occasions, sinister cabals of nannies, window cleaners, hoteliers, romance novelists, secretaries, farmers, retired Vaudeville performers, butlers, knitters, a cemetery and a matchmaking service.
** The 'British Fanatics' who killed government ministers by tricking them into getting off trains at disused stations, and then murdering them. Why? Because the trains no longer run on time under the current government...
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' does this hilariously with the Greendale Air Conditioner Repair School, and one of John Goodman's greatest monologues.
--> '''Vice Dean Laybourne:''' Mr. Barnes, air conditioning repair is an elite, worldwide family dating back to the very beginnings of civilizations. Our predecessors were slaves, fanning the Pharaohs with palm fronds. Over time, we became expert at making our superiors comfortable. We made it our business. And along the way, we learned to make ourselves comfortable. No more palm fronds, Troy. Now we are the Pharaohs.
--> '''Vice Dean Laybourne:''' That's what we do, Troy. Incredible, invisible, inbelievable things. We're an unseen, unknown, unvincinble fraternity of craftsmen.
* In the ''Film/DevilFish'' episode of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', Mike and the Bots start making fun of Dolphins, only to find out that Dolphins are a space-faring race that attack the Satellite. Later, Mike gets cocky and starts teasing an electrician, only for him to call in his dolphin buddies to start blasting the Satellite again.
* ''Series/EerieIndiana'': The Milkmen of the town of Eerie play a subtle role in the town's very strangeness.
* The Regents in ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' have regular day jobs (one of them is a waitress at a diner), despite being in possession of the most dangerous artifacts in the history of the world. Subverted in that they are not evil and have no goals of world domination. In fact, their goal is to protect humanity from dangerous items and has been for thousands of years. When Artie expresses surprise at who the Regents are, they ask him who he'd rather have this power. A person in power would be motivated by more power. And, of course, there's the revelation that [[spoiler:Pete's mom is a Regent]].
* The ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode "[[Recap/MonkS1E9MrMonkTakesAVacation Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation]]" featured a secret ring of chambermaids that used confidential information left lying around in hotel rooms to engage in insider trading. When one of their number wants out (or wanted more money), they kill her and use their position and [[TheNonDescript near-invisibility]] to disappear the body and cover up the crime to the point where Monk looks like (more of) a lunatic for even trying to investigate.
* In the "Secret Service Dentistry" sketch for ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', the hapless protagonist Lemming finds himself caught in the middle of an elaborate spy game between the British Dental Association and a conspiracy of evil dentists working under the employ of the Big Cheese. [[spoiler:And then it turned out that Lemming was himself a member of the BDA]]
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': Los Pollos Hermanos. On the surface, a regional Chilean-influenced [[BurgerFool fried- and roast-chicken chain]], with its head, the mild-mannered Gustavo Fring, [[HonestCorporateExecutive a pillar of the community and a friend to law enforcement]]. Go deeper, and you find that Los Pollos Hermanos is a front for the largest and most sophisticated methamphetamine ring in the Southwest, with an industrial-scale lab producing large amounts of high-quality crystal meth to be distributed in the chain's buckets of ''fried-chicken batter''. And Fring? A truly ruthless, [[MagnificentBastard devious]], and vengeful kingpin.
* ''Series/TheBlacklist'':
** It gives us The Cyprus Agency, an adoption agency for the wealthy that offers to scour the globe in search of your "ideal" infant child- hair colour, ethnicity, sex, genetics...you name it, they'll find it. In reality, the babies are abducted from their mothers at birth, [[spoiler: and the mothers are dozens of abducted women who fit the various genetic profiles and who are kept comatose in a fertility clinic, impregnated by artificial insemination and give birth ''all while unconscious.'' What truly makes it this trope is that while most of the agency is in it for profit (or fear), the boss is the father of Every. Single. Child. and he does all this because wants to leave a ''legacy''.]]
** The Amnesty Collective, a prison rights organization protesting the death penalty, was co-founded and run by The Judge, a KnightTemplar who gets revenge for miscarriages of justice by abducting the officers or officials they hold responsible for the length of time the innocent (or "innocent", as the case may be) is themselves held. If the miscarriage leads to the death penalty, The Judge is prepared to execute in retaliation as well. While most of the organization seems entirely legit, The Judge is helped by at least a few members.
* The 2000 [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]] series ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' places its super secret Agency in a division of the federal "Department of Fish and Game".
* In French NewsParody Groland, there is "Le Complot des Vieux" (the old people conspiracy). They are organized with secret cameras everywhere... [[ParodiedTrope To create everyday annoyances]] like filling buses to the brim so that young people have to stand up when going somewhere, always coming in front of younger people at the supermarket and taking as long as humanly possible to pay for their groceries... Stealing the elevator from younger people...
* Done in miniature in ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' when he finds out that all the mishaps that regularly happen to him at the office are caused by four menial workers who hate him for one reason or another.
* Happens in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' when she believes human flesh is being served at the Doublemeat Palace. Subverted ultimately as its only secret (although a big one) is that [[spoiler:the 'meat' is almost entirely vegetarian. Employees keep disappearing not into the meat grinders but into the stomach of a demon who happens to be a regular customer.]]

* ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'' has [[TheBully Eugene Black]]'s trolling clan which, for a ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' clan, has managed to garner an impressive influence, being able to obtain the Internet history of a copycat troll as well as dissolve some legal trouble that [[EvilGenius Colin Hunt]] was in.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', a bizarre Milkman Conspiracy is set off when [[spoiler: Vic, the obnoxious dispatch operator back at "Blue Army Headquarters," is told, in the past after some time travel, that "Red and Blue are the same thing." Vic takes this literally and it eventually turned out that because of all this, the commander-in-chief of both Red and Blue armies is, in fact, Vic, who has been setting them at war with one another over one offhand comment.]]
** The conspiracy deepens: [[spoiler: Vic manages to do this because he's actually ''the computer that's running the Capture the Flag game that everyone is playing''.]] At least, that's what the last episode implied.
** It should be noted that in the end, it's not really a Milkman Conspiracy, it only ''appears'' to be one. The truth is even more complicated. [[spoiler:In short, both the Red Army and the Blue Army are made up of rejects from the regular army on training bases controlled by the Freelancer Project. Scenarios are set up on these bases to train Freelancers, all of whom are aware of the deception while the "simulation troopers" are not. However, simulation troopers who do well enough are apparently shuffled back into the regular army, such as Donut (apparently?) and Tucker.]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* The title characters in the ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'' story "The Head Girls" are spies who are trained as secretaries, then placed with high ranking scientists and government officials, giving them access to their bosses' secrets.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Mak Attax cabal in ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'' [[spoiler: who have infiltrated [[WritingAroundTrademarks "the world's largest fast-food chain"]] in order to spread magic randomly through the population.]] [[spoiler: It is also heavily implied that they saved the world from disaster at least once, by performing a powerful ritual on the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999.]]
* ''TabletopGame/JAGSWonderland'' has [[spoiler: the Orange-Peel Men, Whirls who gather together to try to control Chessboard Zero, but only influence it in exceedingly strange ways, such as trying to get people to adhere to Red Shirt Tuesday.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', one of the Sidereal Charms allows them to create these on the spot. As long as the Sidereal Exalted supports it, it avoids being just a BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats by virtue of, well, being supported by a member of an AncientConspiracy that controls the entire world from the offices of Heaven. Should they abandon them or they and the conspiracy have disparate goals and capabilities, it quickly falls apart.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'', the US vote can be manipulated by the most powerful man in the country: [[spoiler:the ''education minister'']]. Because of this, Japan is able to [[spoiler:control the election and brainwash children by taking over a single elementary school in Seattle]].
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', ''los Iluminados'', a cult led by Ozmund Saddler, are a bunch of Spanish farmers and zealots... with an island fully equipped and devoted to studying the ''Plaga'' parasite and creating many types of monsters. Still, they are ''only'' farmers.
* The teams in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' operate this way. Reliable Excavation and Demolition and the Builders' League United are fronts for two organizations that secretly control every government in the world and are constantly at war with each other. Signs in the game's maps reveal more fronts for these organizations, such as Red Bread and Blu Corn. It's hinted that every major corporation in the world ultimately has ties to one or the other.
** Of course, it reaches a new level when you find out that [[spoiler:they're both run by the same handful of people]] apparently out of misanthropy and spite.
* In season 2 of ''SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', the mysterious "Them" that has Bosco living in fear is revealed to be [[spoiler:three mariachis (actually, three time-shifted versions of the same mariachi) who travel through time and space so they can perform at every birthday ever.]]
** There is some truth in that [[spoiler: Bosco is also being watched by Flint Paper. He was hired by Mama Bosco to find the one that [[StableTimeLoop ruined her store in the 60s]]. Someone's been spying on poor Bosco since ''before he was born''.]]
** In season 1, it's revealed [[spoiler:the government ''does'' spy on Bosco. And keep nukes aimed at his shop!]] [[ProperlyParanoid It's not paranoia if you're right]]!
* TropeNamer: The famous ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' level. Although in this case the conspiracy is all in the head of the one man who knows about it. No, literally; the conspiracy is carried out by constructs within his mind, who represent the mental blocks that prevent [[spoiler:his destructively psychotic, hypnotically implanted alter-ego from surfacing until he's been given a code phrase]], and challenged by ''other'' constructs which represent his attempts to sort out what it is he won't let himself know. Except he suspects himself as much as anyone else, so he fears both sets of constructs equally.
* The ultimate culprit behind all the events in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' is revealed in the GoldenEnding to be [[spoiler: a random gas station attendant who, up to that point, wasn't even important enough to warrant [[NominalImportance a name or portrait]].]]
** If you pay attention to [[spoiler: said apparently unimportant NPC when they appear (notably only on days when it rains) you may pick up hints that they know more than they let on, but this requires paying attention to what appears to be a single, ordinary NPC in a reasonably-populated small town, with no hint as to their significance except for a single slight cue ''from outside the fourth wall'', about 70 hours of gameplay ago.]] Ironically, the only people likely to do this are those already in on the spoiler, having got the GoldenEnding and are on NewGamePlus.
* Rare heroic example in ''VideoGame/SteelStrider'': The organization that deploys the protagonist in their souped-up HumongousMecha, periodically drops supplies and weapons, and supplies arms to rebellions against tyrannical planetary governments is...[[UnstoppableMailman an interstellar shipping company]].
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''; Cro Threadstrong, an orc who sells leatherworking supplies in Shattrath City, continually rants about how the Fruit Vendor is leading an army of ogres trying to eliminate the Horde. Among other things. (The Fruit Vendor in Shattrath is a sweet old lady named [[MeaningfulName Granny Smith]], so it's likely he's just a loon. Still, at least one Guild on one server [[AscendedMeme has called itself Fruit Vendor Army]] out of inspiration.)

* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'' features a vast conspiratorial organization made up solely of guys named Dave. ''All'' the guys in the world named Dave. [[spoiler:At one point, protagonist Dave Davenport gets kicked out and his name becomes David. The other protagonists don't care and decide to keep calling him Dave anyway.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', a rivalry between raptor-riding banditos and a man so ripped that he grew a fart-fueled jetpack is revealed to have been the result of a sinister plan orchestrated by [[spoiler:the local Fox affiliate's 10 o'clock news]]. The plan is foiled, however, by [[spoiler:[[http://drmcninja.com/page.php?pageNum=43&issue=3 the weatherman]]]].
* Parodied in Venus Falls with the Interstellar Society of Exceptionally Stupid Old Men in Togas who by some design of Twisted Fate decide who the last 2 "survivors" of a species/race will be and thus end up on Venus.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Website/CollegeHumor: Played for laughs in the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbl-vMN2gzo "Deceptive Deceptions"]] video, which reveals that the ridiculously massive ConspiracyKitchenSink designed to control humanity is being led by the dorky members of the College Humor staff.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', a secret colony of [[OurElvesAreDifferent super-powerful elves]] extend their influence... through horse racing.
** Also in ''The Simpsons'', the Freemason-esque "Stonecutters" are shown to have infiltrated the Egg Council, for their own nefarious ends--and also claim to control the British crown, keep [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay the metric system]] down, and keep {{Atlantis}} off the map and kept the Martians under wraps, held back the electric car, made Steve Guttenberg a star, robs cavefish of their sight, and choose the winners every [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscar night]]. (Something of an InformedAbility, seeing as they really don't do much [[BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats except sit around and drink beer.]]
** Also, while under the effects of an ADD drug, Bart discovers the secret machinations of... Major League Baseball.
** Not to mention that every time an UsefulNotes/AlGore book is scanned at your local bookstore, it sends a coded message directly to [[spoiler:the Pentagon, so they can relay the news to Al Gore's office]].
** Or the cabal who fill flu vaccine with some sort of drug to increase sales during the Christmas shopping season. Curse, I've said too much. Down Rover, Down!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'', Huey Freeman believes that every white man is in on the conspiracy, and that you can't bribe them with cheese.
** Riley Freeman somehow turns a Girl Scout chocolate selling fundraiser into a virtual criminal enterprise, and the sellers themselves start acting like gangsters. This manages to get him in trouble with ''real'' gangsters (of the [[LondonGangster British variety]]), who felt that Riley's business operations is encroaching on their turf. Even better, the climax [[spoiler: has none other than ''TheMafia'' act as a third-party and get into a gang war with these rival mobsters over domination of territories for chocolate selling]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}'' episode "Max Ray... Traitor", Max becomes a FakeDefector to infiltrate a network of spies who disguise themselves as janitors.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Literature/FuManchu (or maybe someone who looks like him) is behind the distribution of [[StockYuck rice cakes]], simply ForTheEvulz.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' had a SuckECheeses which was a front for an secret organization which made a WeCanRuleTogether offer to Dexter.
** Another episode had Dexter infiltrate a secret lair in pursuit of some {{masquerade}}-shattering photos his mother dropped off at the local photo development booth. (The zit-faced teen running the booth turns out to be TheManBehindTheMan.)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'', at least before the TimeSkip. The world's last, best defense against the alien supermenaces (apart from Ben) are "Plumbers", guys who spend most of their time in blue collar jobs such as crossing guards, electricians, school teachers and most likely, actual plumbers. When aliens show up, they drag the battlesuit out from the back of the closet and fire up the laser rays they keep in a false bottom.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode "Employee of the Month", Beast Boy discovers that the local burger chain hides intelligent space tofu that kidnaps cows to use as fuel while selling a "Meaty Meaty" substitute through a store front managed by an android made of tofu.
* The villain in the final episode of the first series of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' masterminded her plan to wreck the earth from a hotdog stand. Which was bigger than an office building.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' falls into this trope with some of the weird conspiracies it's shown. One involved a club of fourth-grade girls whose leaders [[ItMakesSenseInContext forged a vote over boys' cuteness in order to get shoes]]. [[SeriousBusiness It ends with a gunfight on the roof of the school]], of course.
** Phase 1: Collect Underpants. Phase 2: ? [[MissingStepsPlan Phase 3: Profit]].
* Imagine if [[GIJoe Cobra Command]] was a real-life secret terrorist group ''[[ComicBooksAreReal as well as]]'' the famous fictional organization. This is the case in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', except replace "Cobra Command" with "The Guild of Calamitous Intent".
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' had a few:
** The well known "Cold Slither" episode involved Cobra using ThePowerOfRock via their own rock band (the Dreadnoks) with subliminal messages in music. (Two mistakes here - one, the name of the band was something of a giveaway once trouble started, and two, well, it might have been a big case of CutLexLuthorACheck, seeing how fast the group's popularity spread.)
** Another episode had them but up the Red Rocket franchise of fast food places to turn them into actual rocket silos. This may have worked had they not exposed themselves by being a little too insistent towards the one location that refused to sell. (The one that belonged to Roadblock's folks.)
* Question from ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' has an [[StringTheory all-encompassing conspiracy theory]] that includes more typical things (governments, major corporations) and many unusual ones. Girl scouts? Seriously?
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'':
** The titular group in the episode The Secret Snake Club wants to be one of these: a trio of nerds who will take over the world and issue in geek utopia. They're about as effective as you'd expect until they get hold of Grim and his magical powers.
** Meanwhile, Billy has been recruited by the junior CIA club at school and finds a ''real'' Milkman Conspiracy: [[spoiler: The Macrame Club! They were selling their products to fund a giant laser that would alter everyone's vision so they'd all need glasses like Irwin. Of course!]]
* This happens in ''WesternAnimation/TheMask'' when Stanley becomes [[BlandNameProduct Putterware's]] best salesman thanks to The Mask's antics and is welcomed into it's inner circle which is run like a cult, complete with brown robes. Putterware's founder is a MadScientist who used to work for a rival company that booted her out for her insane research; To keep food so fresh it's practically alive. She created Putterware for the sole purpose of destroying her former employers... and Edge City.
* A short for ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' posits that the controllers of the world are Squirrels. Even talking about Chem trails, Monsanto deals and fermenting unrest in Brazil.

* The storybook/audio tapes that came with the "Secret Army Supplies" toy line from the late '80s had one of these. The titular military organization is so secret that it officially doesn't exist. It is run from the headquarters of Electronic Export Services, and performs classified missions to kidnap scientists, prevent the Soviets from taking control of the world's oil market and so forth.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Ice_Cream_Wars The Glasgow Ice Cream Wars]] of the 1980's were violent gang wars between rival ice cream truck drivers over different routes. The reason? The truck drivers were also drug dealers and they were fighting over distribution territory.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyongyang_(restaurant_chain) The Pyongyang restaurant chain]] is, as the name suggests, owned and operated by North Korea, and has branches all over East Asia as well as parts of Europe. Defectors, journalists and intelligence experts all claim that the restaurants are specifically controlled by Room 39, a department of the North Korean government tasked with making money for the ruling Kim family by any means necessary, making it basically an international crime syndicate that is run by an independent state, and the restaurants a front for the money laundering and drug dealing enterprises of that organization.

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