The situation where a movie affects or creates a Real Life demand for an object, good or service. This can lead to defictionalization, where things only start being made due to demand for fictional things. For example, Swingline originally didn't make red staplers; the people who made the film Office Spacepainted a black stapler red for the film. Eventually can result in a Life Imitates Art situation.
Note that things causing a permanent decline or increase are often urban legends; the influence of a single film is usually temporary.
This is like Product Placement, only practically unintentional. It may even result from a production going out of the way to avoid product placement, such as those using Brand X.
When turned on its head, this trope becomes Aluminum Christmas Trees
Sometimes known in the UK as The Delia Effect, whereby ingredients and utensils recommended by Delia Smith in her popular cookery shows are subject to increased demand. Cranberries, capers and omelet pans have all been subject to this, though shops have got wise and Delia's publishers tend to let them know what's being recommended this time round. Now known in Australia as The Masterchef Effect for similar reasons... custard apples, anyone?
Note that any basic science course will tell you that correlation doesn't always mean causation, but some of these are some pretty interesting coincidences. When demand appears for something that's never been produced much less demanded until its fictional presentation... it's hard not to attribute a cause and effect.
Defictionalization is when the makers of the piece of media create their own tie-in merchandise based on this concept. If the show is built around this effect, it's Merchandise-Driven.
The equivalent for other works is the Colbert Bump, and if it happens to songs, it's likely Revival By Commercialization.
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In the 90's, Gap made a commercial for Khaki pants showing people dancing the lindy hop. The commercial did a better job of making people all over the USA start signing up for lindy hop lessons than making them buy the pants.
The grim nature of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was rather offset by some of the commercials that appeared during the breaks. The Morning Rescue advert, in particular, caught the eyes of fansubbers, to the extent that one group began editing it into episodes where it had not originally appeared. Demand for the drink shot up due to curious Westerners who, having witnessed the Memetic Mutation in progress, wanted to try it for themselves; as a result, J-List began stocking Morning Rescue in their online store.
Target had clothing in their advertisements with the target logo on them and ended up making them for real.
Volkswagen had a print-ad of the Polo with every car part a different color - like red doors, yellow hood, blue roof... when lots of people requested that car, VW made the Polo Harlekin.
Paint brand Dulux started using the Old English Sheepdog as its mascot in the 1960's. Right up to the present day, the adverts have done as much for sales of the dogs as it has the paint; probably more so.
A commercial from the Dutch insurance company OHRA (in which a mother and her daughter try to pick up their purple inflatable crocodile at the lost and found of a swimming pool, but they are met with severe bureaucracy) led to a huge demand for purple inflatable crocodiles, which untill then only came in the color green. It also lead to the phrase "purple crocodile" becomming a methaphor for obstructive bureaucracy.
Anime and Manga
The manga Kami No Shizuku (The Drops of God) is an incredibly powerful example of this trope - thanks to the miracle of internet wine ordering, thousands of Japanese people are treated to a charismatic character's opinion of a specific wine on his quest to find seven specific varieties, and can then go and order those very wines and taste them for themselves. This has caused quite a stir in the world's wine industries.
This happened in regards to Fender instruments. One may wonder why this doesn't apply to Gibson guitars, unless one realizes that Gibson guitars (the Les Paul that Yui plays STARTS around $2,500 USD) are much more expensive as opposed to an average Fender (no more than $200 USD) — especially since there is no Japanese-made version.
Les Paul clones seem to be rather popular, though, especially since they are marketed using the show's imagery.
Curiously, left-handed Fender Jazz Basses, as played by Mio, are popular as well, even though they mostly get stringed for right-handed use.
The town of Washimiya, Saitama, Japan experienced a massive surge in tourism and economy thanks to Lucky Star, as the Hiiragi family shrine is based on the local Washinomiya shrine. It has since become a pilgrimage site for otaku of all ages, with many prayer plaques featuring weird prayers asking Konata to be their wife.
The show also re-popularised anime merchandise and conventions. There has even been talk in the city council to make the local high school dress code match the one seen in the series. In turn, the girls became official honour residents of the city.
Likewise, the Hiwaka Shrine from Sailor Moon also exists note (though in real life, there are two Hikawa Shrines, and the anime moved one to the location of the other) and is a tourist spot for fans. Crown Game Center also used to exist but has since gone out of business and been replaced by a McDonalds.
The classical-music industry in the Asia-Pacific region has reasons to thank Nodame Cantabile.
In a filler episode, it was announced that the series was unexpectedly being canceled because the studio Sunrise had gone out of business. Following this, "Sunrise" became the most-searched item online in Japan.
Also, it has been speculated that Gintamahas done this to wooden swords, though it's probably just due to their ubiquity at tourist shops and the annoyance of getting metal swords through customs.
The popularity of the 1977 anime Rascal The Raccoon was single-handedly responsible for the introduction of feral raccoons in Japan. Up to 1500 raccoons were imported as pets, but now the descendants of abandoned or escaped raccoons live wild in 42 of Japan's 47 prefectures.
Enoshima, an island off the coast of Kamakura, is a favorite destination among otakus, since it is featured prominently in several popular shows, such as Elfen Lied, Aoi Hana and Uta Kata.
This manga popularized the Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno/Corolla GT-S by virtue of its protagonist beating seemingly much cooler cars with one on a regular basis, simply with raw driving skill.
The real life touge courses in the anime have become immortalized in real life as well. Mount Haruna (which is what Mount Akina is based on) often gets many visitors in the Gunma area, and the real tofu shop also gained popularity before it was torn down.
Sports manga and anime that are a runaway success (and this in any country, not just Japan) create an interest in that sport and consequently increase the number of members affiliating themselves to clubs. Among those manga and anime are:
Captain Tsubasa (who also tremendously helped the development of soccer as a whole in Japan, spurring the creation of the national pro league JFA, and thrusting the sport from obscurity to second-most played sport in the country) for soccer,
Slam Dunk, which was a smash hit in not just Japan but the Philippines and Korea, also fits. The manga was even given honorable mentions from the Japanese Basketball Association for popularizing the sport in Asia, especially since a lot of the players in the Japanese league grew up reading it.
While not as popular as the above examples, the writer of Rin! said that she received a lot of mail from fans saying they had taken up archery after reading the series.
Takehara's popularity has risen quite a bit since it has been featured in Tamayura, and the town's inhabitants appear to be very proud of that fact. Restaurants and shops advertise with posters from the show (especially the ones actually used as scenery) and one of the local ferries even sports huge posters of the show's main heroines. Of course, the announced TV series might raise the town's popularity to even greater heights.
Hamtaro made kids want to get a pet hamster of their own.
The town of Oorai enjoys this due to the success of Girls und Panzer. The real life annual Anglerfish festival saw a huge spike in attendees the year after the anime debuted.
Names for babies becoming more popular after use in a piece of media happens all the time. But due to the trendy nature of this trope, they run the risk of becoming embarrassingly dated after awhile.
"Madison" as a first name was almost nonexistent when the movie Splash was made; it's currently the fourth-most-popular girls' name in the US. What makes this particularly worth noting is that when the mermaid picks the name by looking at a street sign, Tom Hanks immediately says (roughly) "That's not a real name." Watching the movie in the 21st century made that line hilarious.
A similar example is the name "Kayleigh" which appeared in a 1985 hit single of the same name by the British Progressive Rock band Marillion, which was created out of the name of an ex-girlfriend of singer Derek "Fish" Dick who was named Kay Lee. It soon became a popular name for girls in the United Kingdom.
J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan popularized the name Wendy so much after its release, that he is often erroneously credited with inventing the name.
Since the 1960s, naming your child after a character from J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings has been something of a trend for aging hippies, nerds, and passively sadist parents. "Galadriel" has been in the US popular name list since 1969.
"Shirley" was an uncommon and exclusively masculine name until Charlotte Brontë's novel Shirley was published in 1849. The eponymous character is an independent heiress, and her name is intended to be tomboyish and unusual. It's stated that her parents wanted a boy, but having only a daughter, they christened her Shirley, the name "they would have bestowed on a boy, if with a boy they had been blessed."
It remained primarily a boy's name (and a rare one) until Shirley Temple became famous. It then became a popular girl's name, reaching No. 1 in popularity in 1935. Male Shirleys are now thin on the ground.
Older Than Radio: The name "Pamela" was invented for a book, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. This generated one of the first entertainment marketing booms, with Pamela towels, dishes, playing cards, stationery, etc. In 1740.
Played straight in the thirties when most Germans still liked Hitler. A lot of little Adolfs were born then, who would later have a rough childhood. One such person was Adolf Dassler, who used the first three letters of his surname and his nickname to name his company Adidas.
Inverted: It used to be a perfectly respectable and popular male name. Not so much these days, because of... well... you know...
Same thing with the last name "Hitler". And the Swastika. And the mustache. You might be able to get away with it if you're doing a Charlie Chaplin impression, but you had better well be wearing the hat too.
This is to the point where people with the names "Adolf/Adolph" and "Hitler" are permitted to change their names even in those countries (including Germany) where name-changes are generally not allowed or are tightly regulated.
The popularity of "Katrina" as a name for baby girls increased slightly after the 2005 storm, most likely due to the name being endlessly repeated in the media.
In 2000, Sonny Sandovol, the frontman of P.O.D. and a born-again Christian, gave his daughter the unusual name of Nevaeh, which is "heaven" spelled backwards. By 2007, Nevaeh had become the 31st most popular name for baby girls in the United States, ahead of Sara, Vanessa, and Amanda, with most of this popularity coming from evangelical Christian parents.
A few years later, more parents, apparently having heard the name, but not knowing its derivation, or being appallingly lax in spell-checking birth certificate forms, began naming their daughters "Neveah."
After The Omen came out, the name Damien experienced a slight decline in popularity, having been ranked 283 out of 1,000 in 1974, 387 out of 1,000 in 1975, and 285 out of 1,000 in 1976... Although there was a one-day spike of the name for children born on June 6, 2006 — which, not coincidentally, was also the release date of The Remake.
In 1918, Italian general Armando Diaz signed the Victory Address, a short document meant to inform the population of the victory against Austria in WWI. It was shown in schools, barracks, town halls etc, and many children were required to memorize it. The Address ended with the words "firmato: Diaz" (signed: Diaz), which led many to think that "firmato" ("signed") was his name. In the following years, many children were baptized with that name.
The names "Isabella", "Edward" and "Jacob" were popular before Twilight was published. Still, they saw a significant boost, as did "Renesmee". Despite being invented by Stephanie Myers, in 2010 fifty-five baby girls in the US were given that name in real life.
In the 1980s, the names Crystal (in a variety of invented spellings) and Alexis became popular for girls thanks to the catfighting pair from Dynasty.
Two sitcom examples — Emma exploded in popularity after Rachel of Friends gave the name to her daughter, and Carrie from Sex and the City's rugged boyfriend Aidan seems to have inspired a resurgence in that name (and its variant Aiden).
Ziz-zagged with "Mercedes." It was a girl's name first (a Spanish title for the Virgin Mary, "Our Lady of Mercy"); the car company's founder named it after his daughter. However, its use nowadays is more likely to be inspired by the connotations from the car company rather than the religious figure.
"Jennifer"; originally an obscure Cornish variant of "Guinevere", it became hugely popular in the United Kingdom after George Bernard Shaw gave it to the female lead in his 1906 play The Doctor's Dilemma. It received a further boost with the release of Love Story, becoming the single most common female given name in the United States for the years 1970-1984, where it had previously been relatively uncommon.
It gets more triumphant still: Love Story or maybe the multiple TV shows and movies where they used it, made for a while Jennifer a popular name in Spain, where it didn't exist in ANY form (and where, before Franco's death, it was extremely discouraged to use non-standard [read: from the Catholic tradition] names). It got so prevalent that for a while the easiest way to depict a woman as the Spanish equivalent of trailer trash was to have her calling her daughter "Jennifer" in a loud and heavily accented voice ("CHÉNIFEEEEEEE").
Castiel was the fasting growing name for boys in 2010. Sookie was for the girls.
While the boy's name Kevin had become quite popular in Germany the years before, it reached its peak as the most common name in 1991 after the release of Home Alone and stayed very high in popularity for about 10 more years. Unfortunately the popularity was mostly restricted to the Unterschicht, which is the German equivalent of white trash, and the name became the stereotypical name for all kids of such a background. The exact same thing happened in France.
Baby name databases don't seem to have any data for the name Tevin before 1990, but it peaks in popularity in 1992 (top 200). R&B artist Tevin Campbell released the album T.E.V.I.N. in 1991.
The name "Svetlana" was invented by a Russian poet and popularized by another in the early 1800s. It's still hugely popular today (not just in Russia) and is even used as the Russian translation of a Greek saint's name. "Svetlana" wasn't a nonsense word, though. "Svet" means light, and it's a little like naming your daughter "Radiance" or something.
The Australian singer/guitar player John Williamson created a song about a tomboy whose father nicknamed her Cydy (short for sidekick). It is now an official (if still mostly uncommon) Australian girl name.
The name "Osama" became very popular in some parts of the Muslim world in late 2001 and for several years thereafter. In other parts, its popularity went down. And in still other parts nothing changed, because "Osama" is actually a pretty common name in many Muslim countries — it's traditional and has a long history (it's one of several Arabic names meaning "lion").
The popularity of the series Game of Thrones led to many baby girls named "Arya" and "Khaleesi". Funny that the latter is actually a title for Daenerys Targaryn, not a proper name!
The German comic Werner heavily featured the beer from the then-small Flensburger brewery which was known in Northern Germany only until then, and even there only sparsely. It was among the last few German beer brands sold in swing-top bottles. The Werner comics turned out to be very good advertisement for Flensburger beer which was soon hard to find in the North as the Flensburger brewery couldn't keep up with the demand, and even more so when Werner became popular further south where, of course, everyone wanted to drink the same beer as him, too. The Flensburger brewery eventually increased its production, and sales skyrocketed. It's easy to understand that they were quite pissed off when Werner made his own beer in the 6th book which appeared under the brand name Bölkstoff inReal Life, stopping the free advertisement for Flensburger beer.
Admit it, you've wanted a "Fuck Communism" Zippo ever since you saw on in Preacher. Well, it may not be licensed, but here you go.
The Transformers Wiki calls it the Bludgeon Effect: the franchise has many more toys created than there are actually characters in the show, so that means the Expanded Universe has a big source of new characters that still feel authentic. Whenever the current IDW comics TF seriesdusts someone off and uses them to good effect, their toys absolutely skyrocket in value online. Bludgeon's actually not the biggest recipient - Ironfist had never been used in a story ever until IDW and Fun Publications both used him in their comics at once. Suddenly, among comic fans, he's a Bumblebee-level household name... who last had a figure produced in 1993. Good luck getting your hands on an intact version for less than $100.
Named after the red Swingline stapler in Office Space. As the DVD commentary mentions, the one in the movie was specially painted, since at the time the movie was produced, the company didn't make red office staplers, only black ones (although they had been making red mini staplers for decades). Due to the popularity of the movie, they do now.
The release of the movie quadrupled the international price of amber.
Not only that, but there is fake amber with insects in it that comes from China frequently sold on auction sites, to the outrage of precious stones sellers everywhere.
Sales of the Dodge Ram pickup nearly doubled in 1996 thanks to a red model being featured as the hero vehicle in the film Twister. While Chrysler sold 280,000 Rams in 1995, sales skyrocketed in 1996 to nearly 400,000 units and stayed at that level through 1999.
Dirty Harry caused sales of Smith & Wesson's Model 29, the famous .44 Magnum that Harry Callahan used in the movie, to skyrocket. The ensuing popularity drove prices into orbit... and they stayed there, making it nigh impossible for many real shooters and gun enthusiasts to buy them new.
Also don't forget that the S&W Model 29 is a very heavy gun and probably isn't the best choice for a casual gun enthusiast.
A similar phenomenon happened after the release of the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies - the USP Match, Lara's WeaponsOf Choice, became a very popular pistol for a time, so much that even airsoft copies of them were selling for upwards of a thousand dollarsnote for context: with that much money you can buy a real USP, assuming that sellers even still had them in stock.
The effect is so great that Wildey J. Moore (the inventor of the pistol and founder of the company) mentioned that every time Death Wish 3 was rerun on TV, sales spiked. It was also Charles Bronson's personal pistol, so there's also elements of Celebrity Endorsement.
The film Smokey and the Bandit, along with the trucking song (later also a movie) "Convoy", caused such a spike in the popularity of CB radios that many of the restrictions on their use in the US were lifted in order to take advantage of this boom. The result was, basically, the Eternal September with voice chat, a phenomenon that lasted until the internet and cell phones became popular. Sales of the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am also saw an upswing, with a CB becoming a dealership option in some places.
The CB radio craze brought about by the two also resulted in the "mainstreaming" of much CB radio jargon. "What's your twenty?" "Ten-four good buddy" and "Put the pedal to the metal" all entered the popular lexicon as a result of this movie.
Sideways led to increased American sales of Pinot Noir, the wine favored by the main character. At the same time, Merlot sales declined in the US because he doesn't drink it, and says so in one scene.
Ironically, this actually caused the average quality of both wines in the American market to switch places. Merlot had previously been overproduced to the point that it was regarded as rather déclassé by wine aficionados, hence Miles' dislike for it. In response to the change in demand, the market was flooded with mediocre Pinots, while the average quality of Merlots increased as fewer were produced.
In the special edition commentary of Napoleon Dynamite it was mentioned that the blue unicorn t-shirt Napoleon wears in the movie had been discontinued when the film came out but thanks to the popularity of the film the shirt was reproduced.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Steven Spielberg initially went to Mars Inc. to ask them if he could have Eliot feed his little alien M&Ms in the movie. They said no. So he went to Hershey and asked about a little-known product of theirs called Reece's Pieces. No one is entirely sure what happened next; some say sales of the things tripled.
The Aliens Power Loader. Inquiries were made to purchase the things but since they don't exist and the prop wasn't real...
The Karate Kid and karate lessons, although the same could probably be said of any movie with karate, tae kwon do, or jiu jitsu.
They do not, however, actually self-lace. Though a hobbyist has worked out such a device, it's too big and strong for actual use (it would fill the shoe entirely, and possibly break your foot).
Nike also produced a very limited run of Hyperdunk sneakers in 2008 inspired by the sneakers in the movie (non-self-lacing, unfortunately).
There was a rumor that the Hoverboards from Part II were actually real, but had been banned due to inherent risk of lawsuits over injuries. According to Snopes, both Mattel (whose logo is prominent on the Barbie-pink hoverboard Marty McFly used) and the studio received a bunch of letters inquiring where you could get one of those wonderful toys. This was not helped when Robert Zemeckis, the film's director, gave an interview where he jokingly said they were real. This article suggests that Zemeckis owes an apology (or preferably a real hoverboard) to all the children who saw the film for the trauma brought on by the realization that they could not, in fact, buy a hoverboard.
Oh, he didn't just do that, he shot fake footage of them being tested, using the same effects used in the movie.
The "Hoverboards are real" footage was done as part of a "Making of..." documentary for the movie.
There were also inquiries as to whether the coaster-sized dehydrated pizzas were real.
Another, more genuine example is the DeLorean DMC-12, a car that had been produced for less than two years and had a reputation for extreme unreliability (hence Marty's surprised comment that Doc Brown had, out of all automobiles, made a time machine out of a DeLorean). It was discontinued before the first film was ever made, but the movie caused second hand prices to skyrocket. Eventually, the car was brought back into low-level production, arguably because of the movie alone.
An inversion: Psycho caused the number of showers being sold to drop dramatically.
However, you can now buy shower curtains with permanent fake bloody handprints.
And shower curtains with images of "Mother" in silhouette.
Similarly, Jaws and beach attendance. And other oceanic activities; see below. Heck, there are even fairly serious stories of people being afraid of taking a bath after seeing Jaws.
The film did, however, raise something. Sadly, it was the number of people who were afraid of sharks, even the harmless ones. People even starting killing sharks to the point of making them endangered because of Jaws, a problem further magnified by the fact that sharks typically produce very few offspring at a time, which take a fairly long time to reach sexual maturity. Naturally, the great white population was one of the hardest hit, and still has yet to fully recover. Peter Benchley, author of the novel Jaws, was so affected by this phenomenon that he devoted much of his later life to shark conservation.
A popular Asian Urban Legend goes that the Jaws series actually increased the demand for shark fin soup.
The movie Deliverance nearly bankrupted the camping industry.
Similarly, the My Buddy doll line has never recovered from the first Child's Play movie.
Making this stranger is that the writer claims that he was basing it on the Cabbage Patch Kids line. Although, given that the doll seen in the movie bears virtually no resemblance to a Cabbage Patch Kid, and a strong resemblance to a My Buddy doll, and even has a name more similar to My Buddy than Cabbage Patch Kids — namely "Good Guy" — it's understandable where the "confusion" could occur.
Because Eddie Murphy wore a Mumford Phys. Ed. Dept T-shirt in Beverly Hills Cop, the T-shirt became a huge seller. Indeed, the shirts are sold pre-faded to match the original faded design he wore.
The Toy Story movies created a huge demand for simple plastic green army men that led to several companies cashing in on it with video games and such.
Not to mention the effect the second movie had on Barbie sales. One story goes that, in pre-production of the first movie, Pixar asked permission to use Barbie and Mattel said no. When they saw the increased sales for Mr. Potato Head (and every other brand toy used in the first movie) they were only too happy to give permission to use Barbie in Toy Story 2, and even allowed Pixar to use Barbie and Ken as major characters in Toy Story 3.
The Slinky company had previously taken the Slinky Dog off the market years before Toy Story. They brought it back in a modified version because of the movie.
A legend has it that JFK killed top hat sales by appearing hatless at his inauguration... except he did have a hat. That one was referenced in an episode of The West Wing, with Toby mentioning that the President is being sued by a garment manufacturer who blames his preference for neckties for the declining popularity of bow ties.
In his very last public appearance, JFK lampshaded this. At the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Dallas mayor Earle Cabell gave the President a typical Texas hat. People in the audience called out "Put it on! Put it on!" Kennedy laughed and said he'd wear it on Monday in the White House and they could come and see him.
While declining sales caused the last of the creameries which manufacture the centuries-old Wensleydale cheese to teeter on the edge of closure in the early '90s, Wensleydale received a chance mention in the popular Wallace & Gromit shorts. Noticing the increased interest, the creamery persuaded Aardman Animations to endorse a Wallace & Gromit-branded cheese, which worked to rebuild Wensleydale into a thriving product worldwide.
There was a huge spike in sales of heart-shaped sunglasses after they were featured in the movie poster for Stanley Kubrick's 1962 adaption of Lolita.
The book and film also killed Lolita as a first name. Humorously, the girl is actually named Dolores, variously nicknamed Dolly, Lo or Lola, and Lolita was Humbert's (who was Nabokov's idea of the complete pseudo-intellectual) "fancy" nickname for her.
In Spain it's still popular, though one could ask why would anyone call their beautiful baby daughter... "Pains" or "Sorrows". However, the usual name those people respond to is Lola (the shortening), and some people do even have Lola as their first name, not Dolores. At any rate, there is a local celebrity with the name Lolita.
Dolores is presumably a name in honor of the Virgin Mary (she of the Seven Sorrows), like Pilar, a masculine noun from Our Lady of the Pillar, and Rosario, a masculine noun meaning Rosary.
Sales of Vans shoes increased following the release of 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, where Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) wore his Vans black-and-white checkerboard slip-on shoes.
Which led to a Lampshade Hanging in the sequel where Ken tells the neighborhood kids how dumb their taste in fashion really is.
Before The Matrix came out, there were no phones anywhere that slid open like the modified Nokia 8110 seen in the movie. The original wasn't spring-loaded; you had to slide it open and closed manually. After the movie opened, people wanted the spring-loaded, flick-open version, and cell phone companies had to design one to meet the demand that suddenly appeared.
Top Gun. After the airing, sales of Ray-Ban Aviators and bomber jackets skyrocketed. It also increased the number people enlisting the Navy and Air Force, but that at least was intentional: why do you think the film was Backed by the Pentagon?
Ray-Ban tried to do it again with the anachronistic shades worn by Smith in Wild Wild West. It didn't work nearly as well.
The Matrix films have driven sales of the different styles of sunglasses worn by the various characters.
Surprising non-inversion (given some of the other "water tragedies" listed above): Sales of tickets on Seabourne cruises spiked after Speed 2: Cruise Control. Before the movie came out, Seabourne was asked what they were thinking, allowing a movie about people not having much fun on a cruise take place on their company's ship. Seabourne representatives just said it was free publicity. They were right. A similar effect, on a grander scale, occurred with the release of Titanic. Advertisers refer to this as "Homer Simpson's syndrome"; if someone sees something on TV or a movie, no matter what the context, it sparks interest. Hence Value Jet's bookings going through the roof following a fatal crash.
The movie Contact apparently created quite a bit of publicity for the SETI program. Even ten years later, it's usually how people know of it. This was probably intentional, given Carl Sagan's support for the program.
The Japanese movie Shall We Dance? greatly increased both the popularity and respectability of ballroom dancing in Japan. As the movie shows, it was a furtive practice prior to the movie, because it was regarded as disreputable.
Dirty Dancing produced a similar effect in the West when it was first released. Masses of teen-age girls in Germany rushed into dance schools hoping to learn to dance like Baby Houseman and/or (especially) have a second Johnny Castle as their instructor. Guys mostly took dancing lessons because there were loads of girls, and a few hoped to one day be able to get chicks because they can dance like Johnny Castle.
In-universe example: In Night at the Museum, a few chaotic events one night at the American Museum of Natural History caused a small media frenzy, which resulted in a drastic increase of attendance at the museum.
The film itself also renewed interest in visiting the museum.
Which in turn led to the sequel Battle of the Smithsonian, where the museum directors couldn't sign on fast enough, in hopes that they could make lightning strike twice.
The film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange caused sales to go up for "Ludwig van"'s Ninth Symphony recordings.
Perhaps a double-case, but the more recent example is particularly notable: everybody has dreamed of owning an Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. One of those dreamers was James May, who was astonished to find out that the car has massive depreciation and low demand in Britain due to having a spotty reputation — that is, until a few days after his DB5 segment, in which values started to skyrocket again.
In supplemental material for Thunderball it is revealed that the military, upon seeing the film, were interested in acquiring the pen-sized device Bond uses to breathe underwater. Unfortunately the device doesn't actually exist. Production designer Peter Lamont politely informed them that the effect was created in the editing room.
After being featured in The Spy Who Loved Me, demand for white Lotus Espirits grew so much that customers were put on a three-year waiting list.
V for Vendetta caused a huge spike in sales of Guy Fawkes masks at costume stores. The mask's increased popularity probably contributed to its use in Project Chanology a couple years later, which only increased its iconic status in pop culture. It has also become a populist symbol that has appeared at numerous political protests including Occupy Wall Street.
There used to be a time where the Red Ryder BB gun was a very popular toy, especially in the first half of the century. Named for the comic strip cowboy character Red Ryder (who also appeared in numerous films between 1940 and 1950, and on television in 1956), the BB gun is still in production despite the fact that the comic strip was canceled in 1963. It is arguably the most famous BB gun in American history. By the time the movie A Christmas Story came out, the Red Ryder Gun was already venerable (and perhaps more famous then the comic strip that inspired it). So the gun lived this trope twice: The popularity of the Red Ryder comic gave birth to the actual gun, while A Christmas Story caused another surge in popularity for the Red Ryder, almost 50 years after its first release. Ironically, the model of Red Ryder BB gun described in the movie does not actually exist or even match any prototype. It's the Buck Jones Daisy BB Gun that has the sundial and compass in the stock.
Fallout 2 acknowledges A Christmas Story. While the Red Ryder BB gun is a weapon so weak it's not even worth using, there exists a unique Red Ryder limited edition BB gun, one of the most powerful small arms, especially for shooting monsters in the eye.
Much like the red Swingline, the Christmas Story Special Edition Red Ryder was released, which conformed to the features listed in the movie (including the compass in the buttstock).
Shirley Temple set several trends for girls. The curls obviously were a fad. She also wore a white rabbit coat in one film and the popularity of such coats exploded for upper class girls.
According to the movie's trivia section over at IMDB, the use of caller ID increased more than threefold after the release of Scream (1996). The movie also increased demand for Ghostface masks/costumes, which existed before (and which is actually a minor plot point in the first film).
When Michael Douglas used a (now comically large) mobile phone in the 1987 film Wall Street it established the mobile phone as an essential business accessory, leading to the modern popularity of mobile phones. Nice Guy Eddie's enormous car phone in Reservoir Dogs (1992) may have helped too.
According to the DVD commentary, people have come up to Douglas for years and said that his performance inspired them to become stockbrokers.
The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever created a nationwide craze for disco music and disco dancing (together with discotheques). Before it came out, disco was mostly confined to the New York and Philadelphia urban and gay communities.
After the release of the 2003 version of The Italian Job, sales of Mini Coopers, featured heavily in the movie, increased by 22%.
Pulp Fiction caused great demand for John Travolta's UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt.
Brown leather wallets with the words "Bad Mother Fucker" stitched on them are also available.
Also if you were in college in 1994 and smoked cigarettes, you had at least, by Christmas break, learned to roll them yourself, if indeed you hadn't switched to rolled cigarettes completely.
Additionally, every single Tarantino movie has this effect on at least some of the songs and artists featured in his soundtracks. You will hear songs on the radio and see them on music video channels or see them used in ads or in other movies to this day purely due to being included in a Tarantino film, even when nobody was talking about them or had heard of them prior to the film's release.
Juno caused what was, by all accounts, a staggering demand for hamburger-shaped phones, despite the main character's brief negative comment that it is awkward to talk into. According to a New York Post article just after the film's release, the burgerphone had a huge rise of 759% in a month.
The Desert Eagle was a semi-automatic pistol built by 3 guys who thought it would be cool to fire .357 and .44 Magnum-caliber rounds in a semi-auto. It started showing up on movies and TV (perhaps most notably as used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in several movies, starting with Commando) somewhere in the mid-Eighties until eventually, the Desert Eagle managed to find itself into some 500+ movies/video games/TV shows, which boosted the sales of the gun to absurd heights. This huge increase in popularity also generated a lot of Hype Backlash against the gun and a considerable hatedom from some gun enthusiasts, who feel the Desert Eagle gets more attention than it deserves.
A similar phenomenon happened with the Barrett series of sniper rifles - originally created by a single guy as a dare to create a .50 BMG rifle, the Model 82 went on to appear in nearly as many movies and video games as the Desert Eagle, plus entering into service with multiple militaries as an anti-materiel rifle. Barrett has gone on to create multiple other weapons, but a good half of them are still based on the M82, and none of them equal its popularity.
It's slowly starting to happen with the AA-12, too, which is replacing the previous SPAS-12, as both are awesome-looking shotguns capable of semi-automatic fire. Many people were disappointed to find out the SPAS-12 was considered a destructive device, meaning it is a MAJOR pain-in-the-ass to legally get ahold of one, and now that production has ceased the prices are only going to go up. Strangely, the Benelli series of shotguns, most of which are also at least capable of semi-auto fire, have been largely ignored in favor of the above.
The Talkboy was originally a non-working prop for Home Alone 2. In 1993 it was later made into a retail version, brought on by a massive letter-writing campaign by fans of the film.
In-Universe, the Arms Dealer Ordell Robbie of Jackie Brown tells his friend Louis that most of his sales are driven by which weapons are wielded on TV or in the movies. Specifically, he notes that there is no demand for the Steyr AUG assault rifle because it's never been in a movienote Ordell is somewhat incorrect, while The Killer caused a spike in demand for .45 pistols (which he considers substandard compared to the 9mm). Proving his point, he then proceeds to take a phone call from a customer who wants a specific make and model of the 9mm, because it's the kind that the protagonist on New York Undercover uses.
The movie was based on a book called The Clansman, which contained the first example of a man burning a cross. Two weeks after The Birth of a Nation premiered, someone burned a cross atop Stone Mountain and an old tradition was invented.
Also horrifying is that the super hero genre can be traced back to The Clansman,The Birth of a Nation and the original Ku Klux Klan.
In at least one country, the ladies started having their hair cut short after watching Demi Moore on Ghost.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: The Adidas Rom track shoes made specifically for Team Zissou produced a demand for them in the real world. Although they were never made by Adidas, blogs popped up with directions on how to retrofit a pair and people also started selling them on eBay. Red beanies also became quite popular after the movie was released, with companies selling Ned's traffic light adorned cap.
The film Holiday Inn was the inspiration for the name of the popular real life hotel chain.
The gauge piercing became popular after the Na'vi in Avatar sported them.
Transformers revitalized the Camaro line via Product Placement, but yellow Camaros with centered twin racing stripes were the most popular version. And do you know why? Even beyond that, just twin racing stripes became a hugely popular custom paint job, even if they aren't yellow, Camaro's, or even sports cars.
The "Bee-atch!" scented air freshener also surged in popularity due to the movie. It ended up being backordered for months.
This also led GMC to produce the Ironhide series of the Top Kick, the truck modified for the movie.
Even though the Volkswagen Beetle was a modestly-selling car during the 1960s, The Love Bug managed to make sales skyrocket even though not a lick of VW-related stuff is seen or heard in the movie. In the second one, Herbie Rides Again, Volkswagen demanded they put product placement everywhere, including an entire herd of Volkswagen 60s Beetles in the ending.
Much like with the book (see Literature), the release of the The Hunger Games, alongside the releases of The Avengers (featuring Badass Normal archer Hawkeye) and Pixar's Brave (about a young Scot who becomes a bow-wielding warrior), and likely added on to by Arrow has led to heavy increase in interest in archery, to the point where it won't be shocking if, in the future, we will probably end up hearing an Olympic Gold Medalist credit these movies as their reason for getting into the sport.
Skyfall has caused the sale of straight ('cutthroat') razors to skyrocket, thanks to a sensual shaving scene with Naomie Harris and Daniel Craig.
After Charlton Heston tells the cop in Earthquake that his SUV has a custom transmission with eight forward speeds and three reverse, people flooded into Chevrolet dealerships to get one, but they couldn't. The custom transmission was built by the studio for that truck.
Silence of the Lambs, a book written by a criminalist and based on real events, managed to make police profiling and the profiling by female detectives more popular, even among actual police investigators. Before that, it was, to say the least, an underdeveloped (and questionably effective) investigative branch.
The popular children's novel Little Lord Fauntleroy created a fad for dressing little boys in the style of clothing described and illustrated in the book, based on outfits author Frances Hodgson Burnett had designed for her own sons. And a generation later, there was a backlash against that kind of outfit for boys by fathers who remembered how much they'd hated them as youngsters.
In 1933, James Hilton wrote a book called Lost Horizon, where the survivors of a plane crash stumble upon a perfect utopia called Shangri-La. The book is obscure now, but Shangri-La and what it represents — longing for a faraway place of beauty, spiritual replenishment, and supernatural longevity — stuck around. When Tibet realized that heavy logging of their old-growth forests was causing disastrous floods, they turned to tourism, found that it paid really well, and renovated a village, renaming it Shangri-La.
There was an even odder two-step version during World War II. When reporters asked President Roosevelt where the bombers for the Doolittle Raid came from, he blew off the question by joking that they took off from "Shangri-La." Shortly afterward the U.S. Navy launched a carrier named the U.S.S. Shangri-La (CV-38), which served until the Vietnam era.
Also: Butterbeer. While a beverage with that name did exist back when the Tudors were ruling in the UK, it was J. K. Rowling's books that popularized the drink in recent years. All that's needed is a simple Google search to notice how everybody and their dog has their own recipe for it. Not to mention, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, sells it.
Don't forget the increase in popularity of wearing glasses.
Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a bishounen artist/poet who shoots himself when the love of his life marries the man she was already engaged to when Werther met her, was a huge bestseller in 1774, touching off a wave of copycat suicides which cropped up again in Palestine in the 1930s when the book was published there. There was a huge demand for blue frock-coats and yellow vests because Werther is described as wearing them. Not to mention the merchandise — Werther perfume. And the fan fiction (in the 18th century, yet). Andthe opera.
All novels by Haruki Murakami mention music pieces by the truckload, and sure enough they send his fans scouring record stores. In 2009, an obscure classical piece, Sinfonietta by Leoš Janáček, became a surprise best-seller, because it is featured in Murakami's newly released novel 1Q84.
Thanks to Twilight, the town of Forks, Washington has seen a 600% increase in tourism in the last few years, nearly all of it due to it being the main setting of the series. There have even been a pair of documentaries, Twilight in Forks and Destination Forks, made about how the town has been affected by this. The Twilight tourism has also rubbed off on neighboring towns, most notably La Push (home of Jacob Black and the Quileute tribe) and Port Angeles (the main town on the Olympic Peninsula, and where several scenes from the book took place).
The restaurant Bella Italia in Port Angeles, where Bella and Edward have their first date, received so many requests for the mushroom ravioli that Bella orders in the book that they added it to the menu under the name of "Bella's Mushroom Ravioli." The defictionalization was taken a step further in 2011 when the dish was made available by the restaurant as a frozen take-home entree.
The books are also responsible in the USA, for increasing numbers of baby boys being named "Cullen" and baby girls being named "Isabella" (as in "Bella").
Curiously, "Edward" doesn't seem to have had the same luck - it hasn't been in the top 100 boy names since 1997, long before the first book came out.
Wuthering Heights is enjoying a revival thanks to Bella's fondness for it (coupled with Edward's derision).
In the pre-movie trivia to a RiffTrax Live! event, one of the items read: "The most popular baby names for 2009 were Bella and Jacob. For Shame."
The Count of Monte Cristo is the reason why a random old prison in the south of France (The Chateau D' If) is popular with tourists.
In William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, Cayce Pollard, a media consultant with an allergy to blatant commercial logos and certain fashions who removes the label from all her clothes and wears drab black, grey, or white everything, has one specific bit of clothing: a black Buzz Rickson's MA-1 jacket; a replica WWII flying jacket slavishly reproduced by Japanese clothing otaku accurate down to the wobble in the stitching. Buzz Rickson's was real. The jacket was real. The quality was real. One problem: they didn't make them in black. They do now.
The Hunger Games caused a spike in the popularity of archery, particularly among young women, thanks to its Action Girl protagonist Katniss Everdeen being a bow hunter who makes heavy use of her archery skills throughout the books.
Christiane F, an autobiographical story about a teenaged drug addict from West Berlin, turned several, mainly German teenagers curious about a rather unfortunate product: Heroin.
The Da Vinci Code increased the popularity of the Mona Lisa, with hundreds of visitors wanting to view the painting because of the book and the film.
According to legend (though likely apocryphal), Sir Walter Scott's Anne of Geierstein is supposedly the source of opals having bad luck; its protagonist dies shortly after her opal necklace is tarnished by holy water. The legend says that the book was popular enough that sales of opals dropped 50% in England after the book was published, and the market was only corrected after a large black opal influx from Australia. In fact, there is little contemporary evidence to support this claim.
This trope is the whole reason that we have The Shadow at all: Street and Smith was getting its clock cleaned in the detective-story magazine business in 1930, and so decided to latch on to a new gimmick — dramatizing their stories on the radio. They chose as a narrator/host character a mysterious, vaguely sinister figure that soon became known as "The Shadow." While he wasn't intended to do more than usher in the stories and never actually figured in them (think "The Cryptkeeper" from Tales from the Crypt), the public fell in love with the character and demanded to know more about him. Whereupon, Street and Smith hired Walter B. Gibson to begin writing novel-length stories of The Shadow in a new magazine devoted to him. And the rest is history.
A Different World (the spin-off to The Cosby Show) increased African-Americans' knowledge of and attendance to America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Of course, that was arguably part of the show's intent.
Additionally, the flip-up sunglasses for eyeglasses which the character Dwayne Wayne wore, also saw a surge in popularity when the show was at its most popular.
The "hero" of Time Chasers wears a Castleton State College T-shirt through most of the movie. The MST3K episode which mocked this movie not only created a demand for the shirts, but made the movie popular enough to get a DVD release.
Eerily enough, one of Crow's riffs during the episode was "remember when everyone got the Nick Miller haircut and started wearing Castleton T-shirts?"
Disney's Davy Crockett caused a wild sensation in the '50s, popularizing (among other things) coonskin caps as a must-have item among children. Coonskin caps were so popular, the raccoon almost became an endangered species because of it (this was before synthetics). As seen in Back to the Future.
Due to the run of the original Knight Rider, there was an increase in demand for Trans Am Firebirds — preferably with all the gadgets, including the front scanner, that KITT possessed. Unfortunately, flashing lights on non-emergency vehicles tend to be illegal, and it was eventually requested that Knight Rider no longer refer to the car as a Trans Am.
You can, however, buy a Knight Ridge themed dashboard GPS that speaks to you in KITT's voice.
Tommy Hilfiger's popularity in the hip hop scene can be traced to Snoop Dogg wearing a Tommy shirt during his Saturday Night Live performance.
For a show which spends most of its time talking about unaffordable supercars, Top Gear has a reputation as being able to destroy an everyday car's sales with a single negative word. Manufacturers will occasionally refuse to provide a car for the show to review, fearing they'll hate it, but this tends to rile the presenters more, and they'll often name and shame such cars before going on to review them "covertly" anyway.
Most notably perhaps, the presenters spent an entire series mocking the forthcoming Dacia Sandero before it had even been finished. By the start of the next series, Renault had not only delayed the UK release of the model, but also of the whole brand's (while the official reason was because of the greater-than-anticipated demand in Continental Europe, one can't help but wonder why Renault would release that statement during the height of the bashing...).
Season 14 has May drive the Sandero in their trip to Romania, which he was rather excited about. He remarked that it's a good, honest small car that has everything you need and nothing you don't. He loved it so much, he said he was going to drive it back to the UK after the super car trip. Unfortunately, a lorry driver "accidentally" backed into it when he met back up with Clarkson and Hammond, who of course laughed at him.
Subverted in their American Supercars special. Dodge refused to loan them a Charger because they'd given so many of their other cars bad reviews, so Richard Hammond bought one... and he loved it.
Top Gear's power lap certainly gives lower-profile sports car companies a chance to get some recognition: the Gumpert Apollo was best known for several years as the "fastest car round the Top Gear track." Although sometimes the opposite is true: Clarkson royally took apart the reliability and safety of the Caparo T1.
The real red stapler though is the military. Every challenge featuring the military provides the BA and RAF with a chance to show off their state of the art military hardware to millions of prime-time (often male, young adult) viewers. Top Gear is one of the best recruiting ads out on the BBC, second only to James Bond.
Rubbished by the presenters themselves, who note that several cars that they've dissed have gone on to sell in big numbers.
At the height of its popularity, Power Rangers most definitely did get the youngsters fixated on martial arts, although it was less of the "take classes, study disciplines and earn belts" sort than it was the "yell 'hi-yah!' and kick your cousin in the groin" variety.
The Dukes of Hazzard revitalized popularity in the late-1960s model Dodge Charger, but also smashed so many of them that they remain hard to find to this day.
Inversion: Australian TV show Kath and Kimdecreased the popularity of Chardonnay (wine). Having it drunk by two of the least classy middle-class women in all of Melbourne, one of whom pronounces it "card-donnay" might have something to do with it.
Applications to ER medical residency programs skyrocketed after ER premiered.
Before that, Converse All-Stars had a surge in popularity thanks to The Tenth Doctor's fondness for them.
After the LOST episode "Numbers" debuted, there was a marked rise in purchases of lottery tickets using the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42.
And indeed, there have been several reports of people winning large amounts of the money by playing those numbers and winning from some or most of the numbers. A reported jackpot with all of the Lost numbers has, to date, never been reported.
The title character's coat in Sherlock was a discontinued, limited edition item. There were so many demands for it after the show aired that Belstaff brought it back.
Emergency!: The show is popularly thought to have been the best advertisement about the merits of the paramedic program ever, and lots of cities and counties started setting up their own in the 1970s.
The producers of Star Trek: The Original Series were once contacted by the managers of a fancy hotel/resort. They had been experimenting with Star Trek-style automatic doors, but having a devil of a time getting them to work right. After asking how the Star Trek crew had managed to overcome the formidable technical difficulties, they were nonplussed to learn the truth behind the magical Enterprise doors: just a guy pulling on a rope.
In another aspect, James Doohan's Montgomery Scott character has inspired so many to become engineers that he received an honorary degree in Engineering from one such school.
Similarly, Dr. McCoy is said to have encouraged many fans to pursue careers in medicine.
When fans of Gossip Girl learned where Chuck's trademark hideous scarf from season one could be purchased, it sold out in a matter of days.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. After the show started airing applications to be forensics investigators and applications for appropriate college majors skyrocketed. Pretty much every Las Vegas souvenir store carries CSI merchandise now.
Which is particularly odd in that LVMPD (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department) doesn't employ CSIs, they have CSAs (Crime Scene Analysts).
Invoked by Chris Rock in one of his stand-up routines, suggesting that many Americans would've murdered their spouses and buried them in the back yard... except for watching CSI: "Man, they're thorough! I'd better make up, they might catch my ass!"
A sad example. In Chile, a University created the career (a three-year course) due to popular demand. It lasted for two years, until the students realized that there were no jobs for CSI technicians in Chile. They promptly tried to sue.
When the game show Legends of the Hidden Temple was on Nickelodeon, everybody wanted one of the team shirts the contestants wore, and there were a few playground arguments over which of the six teams (Red Jaguars, Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Orange Iguanas, Purple Parrots, or Silver Snakes) was the coolest. Since they were a prop and only available to the actual contestants, many kids were disappointed. Over 15 years and a Nostalgia Filter later, the demand is still so high, they keep a couple of internet companies in business. Like this one.
The "Rachel" cut, the flat, straight and square-layered hairstyle worn by Jennifer Aniston in the first couple of seasons of Friends, was so popular with women that it came to be associated with The Nineties the same way that frizzy, voluminous hair defined the preceding decade. The funny thing is that this was unintentional. The stylist originally wanted Aniston to have even-length hair, but accidentally cut off a bit too much on the front right; instead of matching all the rest of her hair to it, he just cut off a bit on the other side to make it symmetrical. In an interview, Aniston claimed that she hated the haircut and didn't get what the "big deal" was.
The massive popularity of The X-Files' early seasons had viewers clamoring for Mulder's UFO-themed office poster. However, the image on the poster was created (and owned) by the show's production team, and couldn't legally be mass produced. Eventually, the show's merchandising department remedied the problem by redesigning the poster used in the show itself, adding the iconic "I Want to Believe" catchphrase to a (similar) pre-existing image of a UFO.
It also greatly increased the interest in UFOlogy and probably inspired many young conspiracy theorists.
Whenever the show Glee features a song that is either obscure or hasn't been big in several years, the publicity causes sales for the original song to go up.
Arguably, it's also created a mainstream interest in show choir.
Sue Sylvester has a literal red stapler on her desk, which may or may not be a reference to this trope.
In Germany, there's been a notable increase in the number of young people wanting to go into gastronomy and hotel management after jobs in these fields were disproportionally frequently given to Soap Opera characters.
One of the most famous examples: When J.J. went out and got a library card in an episode of Good Times, it inspired many young African-Americans to do the same.
You can now buy Dunder Mifflin brand paper (from The Office) from Quill.com (owned by the store franchise Staples).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Surprise," Angel gives Buffy a claddagh ring for her 17th birthday, explaining the different meanings in how you wear it, with obvious romantic overtones. The scene caused a boost in popularity for claddagh rings.
Everyone can thank Steve Urkel for popularizing the tiny and quite strange BMW Isetta bubble car.
Colbert: Is there actually blue crystal meth? Did you make that up or is there actually blue crystal meth out there? Gilligan: There is now.
Mad Men has created another wave of '60s nostalgia, especially in fashion.
An odd example in that the news is responsible, and a rather tragic one at that: All of the news stories regarding pit bull attacks and dog fighting rings has solidified their image as vicious attack dogs (which isn't accurate), leading to a rise in their popularity amongst unscrupulous owners who just want a tough-looking dog to show off, or, worse yet, to fight against other dogs. Many of these dogs will end up being abused and/or left tied up in backyards, which causes them to develop behavioral issues (as any dog, not just a pit bull, would in that scenario), and eventually leads to yet another incident of a pit bull attack, and the subsequent news story... at which point the whole cycle goes full circle and starts over again. Dobermans and Rottweilers also suffer from this, to a much lesser extent, but the pit bull breeds tend to get the worst of it. You can, of course, also blame the jerks who run dog-fighting rings for this problem.
The music video for Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" inadvertently resulted in a massive demand for Wilkesboro Elementary School shirts, much to the school's surprise and delight.
She also wore a Napanee Home Hardware t-shirt, a hardware store from her tiny Ontario hometown, for an appearance on Saturday Night Live. The demand was such that the chain began producing them in large quantities and selling them nationwide.
Sales of deodorant Teen Spirit skyrocketed with the release of the Nirvana song. And plummeted after the song faded away. Far worse than burning out.
Not that Kurt knew Teen Spirit was a deodorant. He just liked the phrase after it was directed at him by his friend, Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna. Apparently he was quite disappointed to discover its origin. It's not nearly as clever as when he thought it was some kind of metaphor.
Another Grunge reference, the "grunge" look: really unkempt hair and thrift store, especially flannel, clothing became popular after the mainstream success of various grunge bands. However, many of these bands were wearing them not to create a fad but because they were the warmest clothes they could afford. In fact the "look" becoming a fad annoyed many grunge artists, because they were playing in their everyday clothes in deliberate contrast to the excessive flashiness of 80's bands.
Neil Young raised (or lowered) the messy uncombed flannel look to a fine art. When he toured Japan in 1976, he was greeted in Osaka by hundreds of students in flannel shirts and jeans.
Sales (and prices) of Fender Jazzmaster, Jaguar and Mustang models, chosen by Cobain and his ilk as they were inexpensive, strange, unfashionable pawnshop guitars (and as Cobain had small hands and found the smaller necks easier to play) grew with Grunge's popularity. Similar, too, were the popularity of strange analog 1970's stompbox effect pedals grungers used to create their sounds.
During Beatlemania, just about anything a Beatle wore took off. Arguably the most famous is the moptop hair cut.
In addition, the Beatles connection certainly helped (and helps) sales of Rickenbacker, Hofner and Gretsch guitars and basses, particularly those played by the band, as well as certain Epiphone, Fender and Gibson guitars, and Ludwig drums.
They were one of the first bands to use a Moog modular synthesizer (though The Monkees had them beat by two years), on the Abbey Road album in 1969, helping to pave the way for the popularity of synthesizers in pop music.
As far as studio technology is concerned, the fact that the Beatles used EMI REDD47 mixers, Fairchild 660 and 670 limiters, Neumann U47 and U48 microphones, and Altec compressors to record their music, often pushing them in radical ways to produce the groundbreaking sounds they made, has led not only to new interest in the genuine articles, but plenty of hardware and software recreations of that gear. Oddly enough, even by 1960s standards it was relatively old-fashioned equipment, and Abbey Road Studios was slow to adapt new technology.
When George first played sitar in "Norwegian Wood", fans wrote to the label and to radio stations by the millions, asking what kind of "guitar" that was. Overnight, the sitar was transformed from a classical and sacred instrument to an exotic pop sound.
After Jay-Z said in "Show You How" 'we don't drive X5's, we give 'em to baby mamas', BMW X5 sales dropped notably.
Although most of the target audience for X5's probably didn't even know who Jay-Z is, let alone paid attention to one line on a pretty obscure album track.
Queens of the Stone Age singer/guitarist Josh Homme's use of the rare Ovation GP type of electric guitar has increased demand and prices for original examples.
Dire Straits' decision to place Mark Knopfler's National Style O resonator acoustic on the cover of their 1985 album Brothers in Arms resulted in a surge in demand for the guitars, leading to high prices which continue to this day.
It has been observed that a number of hit singles, even after their sales started to decline, have enjoyed spikes in their sales when "Weird Al" Yankovic released parodies of them. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana once said, "I knew we had arrived when Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of us."
...which was subsequently parodied on The Simpsons by having Homer (in an episode in which he briefly became a grunge-rock star) watch Weird Al parodying his hit song on TV. To take the pop-cultural references one level further, Weird Al now uses a clip of that Simpsons episode as part of the visuals shown in his concerts.
Men At Work's "Down Under" is enough of an Ear Worm that despite only mentioning the iconic Australian product once in the entire song, when the song was first released it drove up sales of Vegemite.
Due to Tommy Tutone's Ear Worm of a song known as "Jenny", the United States has made the phone number 867-5309 pretty much invalid, except for businesses that buy it up for advertising purposes.
Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix drove up sales of the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul in The Sixties to legendary status; neither model were known as high sellers at the time.
The Les Paul had been discontinued for years when Clapton and his peers started using it. Not only did Gibson bring it back to great success it also drove up the prices of the original 1950s models to insane levels. A 1959 Les Paul Standard is the most expensive guitar in the world, all thanks to Clapton.
Brooks & Dunn's 1992 hit "Boot Scootin' Boogie", a song about line-dancing, sparked a renewed interest in line-dancing that lasted well into the late 1990s. The craze even inspired another song which lampshaded the sudden increase — Shenandoah's "If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)", which was inspired by a comment that one of the writers made after seeing a commercial for line-dancing lessons.
The saxophone solo in Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" led to hugely increased sales of saxophones everywhere.
The Roland TB-303 bass line synthesizer/sequencer was introduced in 1982 as a bassist stand-in for guitarists, much like drum computers were drummer surrogates. It didn't sell too well, so production was ceased in 1984 already, and the last 303s were sold for dirt cheap (its original price was about $400). By the end of The Eighties, the 303's worth was down to a two-digit amount of dollars. Some of those that hadn't been disposed of already were bought for next to nothing by Chicago-based DJs and musicians who then discovered the potential of the little silver box and invented Acid House on it by tweaking the sound generator while a sequence runs. Acid House became popular, and by the early Nineties, the TB-303 was so popular and sought-after that its value had risen to multiple times its original price.
Pretty much the same applies to analog synthesizers in general which were almost worthless during the beginning digital boom in the late 80s and grew outrageously expensive after they helped make and popularize new electronic dance music styles only a few years later.
One of the main reasons why the Yamaha CS80 is so expensive is because it's the key element in Vangelis' trademark sound, and many musicians want to sound like this. Just listen to the Blade Runner soundtrack.
Except it really did cost a ton when it first came out, since it had a then-unheard-of eight voices of polyphony, an extremely expressive weighted keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch (which the aforementioned Vangelis uses extensively to create beautiful swelling sounds), its legendary ribbon controller, which it used instead of a pitch bend wheel for glissando effects (Stevie Wonder reportedly used it so much that he wore out the ones on his three CS80s on more than one occasion), one of the first preset-storage systems (albeit a primitive one), completely independent filters and envelopes for both oscillators (effectively making it two synths in one, and allowing you to use two different timbres at once, either layered or mapped to different parts of the keyboard), a ring modulator, both lowpass and highpass filters (uniquely, the highpass filter is resonant like the lowpass one, unlike the highpass filter on Roland's answer to the CS80, the Jupiter-8), and a really big, organ-like interface. Due to the sheer amount of components in it, it's infamous for being difficult to service as well. Thankfully, the French software company Arturia makes a virtual version of the CS80 (along with other classic synths, like the Minimoog, the Moog modular system, the Prophet-5, the ARP 2600, and the aforementioned Jupiter-8), which, while not as rich-sounding as the real thing, gets you roughly in the ballpark for a hundredth of what a real one in good condition costs. It also doesn't weigh 220 pounds.
This applies to almost every electronic instrument or related device made before 1990 and played by Jean Michel Jarre, including guitar stompboxes and electronic organs (in particular, his famous sweeping string sound is made with a mid-class Dutch home organ and a phaser effect box). Add to this the fact that many Jarre fans and followers are electronic musicians themselves.
Subverted by Manta by Norbert & die Feiglinge, a song about a sports coupé made by Opel. What the song kicked off was not an increased demand (which was good in a way because the Manta was discontinued two years earlier) but a huge wave of jokes ridiculing the car and especially the drivers which ruined its reputation for many years.
The Clancy Brothers were single-handedly responsible for sales of Aran sweaters in the US during the sixties and seventies.
Katy Perry's video for "Part of Me" has made the Volvo 200 series a somewhat popular car again, with the 260 model being particularly collectible. The version in the video was a U.S.-spec 240 GL 2.3 sedan, 1991 model year. Volvo buyers are even demanding new, retraux Volvo 240s, similar to the new MINI Cooper and Fiat 500, as they feel the S40 is too small but the S60 is too large/expensive and more of a premium executive car.
The Kingston Trio's hit cover version of "M.T.A." in the early 1960s is supposed to have so badly damaged the reputation of Boston's Metropolitan Transportation Authority that it took its current name, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, shortly afterwards to prevent the acronym from applying.
Things have changed in the decades since. "Charlie", the protagonist of the song, has been the MBTA's official mascot, used on its CharlieCard fare cards since 2004.
Many independent thrift shop owners reported a huge upswing in business (mainly among teenagers and college students) right after Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" became a Billboard #1 hit.
Far East Movement's "Like A G6" apparently resulted in people demanding to be able to fly in a G6, which Gulfstream Aerospace has not made being that they were still producing the G4 at the time of the song.
Ylvis' "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" supposedly caused a surge in the sale of fox Halloween costumes.
A doll of the Pointy-Haired Boss was made, after fans demanded one, seeing one depicted in the Dilbert comic strip.
This seems to be a permanent example, especially in the United States. Beagles have spiked to being one of the most popular dogs in the nation for decades. Though that's not entirely due to Peanuts and Snoopy. In large areas of the US, it's common to own a dog or two specifically for hunting (dogs are good at flushing and retrieving birds and small game.) Beagles make extremely good hunting dogs (they have excellent senses, steady nerves, and it's easy to train them to react properly to gunfire), and were bred for that purpose. A lot of pet beagles were inspired by "Grandpa's old coon-dog" as much as by Snoopy.
If a popular children's movie features animals, it will influence the pet demands of Spoiled Brats. Many of these pets are subsequently abandoned.
Especially ridiculous with Finding Nemo, since the whole point of the film is that he's supposed to be living in the sea rather than in someone's fishtank. Also ridiculous is the fact that the massive rise in demand resulted in the various fish species that appeared in the film being caught en masse from reefs in the Pacific, resulting in the ecosystem being destroyed from the bottom up. And wild-caught tropical fish tend to do very poorly in aquariums (they often die in only a few days). You're more likely to find captive-bred fish on sale and in aquariums.
Not that the reverse was any better — many children attempted to (or did) flush pet fish down the toilet in hopes that they would reach the ocean and be reunited with their family, unaware that sewer systems don't work that way. Even if you're in a state that's not landlocked, unless your hometown is violating EPA regulations by discharging raw sewage, your city's sewage system consists of miles of pipes and pumping stations that terminate in a treatment plant. Even if the fish survived the ride to the plant, the entire point of the plant is to kill infectious microorganisms — and it does a fine job on killing anything bigger, as well. One sewage engineer noted that the first step at the plant is to reduce any large chunks into a fine purée, usually with something like this; he dubbed the result to be called "Grinding Nemo".
It doesn't help, either, that parents most likely bought their kids a pet fish thinking they would be easy to care for. In reality, even the hardiest of fish require specialized care. Unfortunately, a lot of inexperienced fish owners probably thought all "Nemo" needed was a tank (or, worse, a goldfish bowl), some water, rocks, and food now and again resulting in the deaths of many pet fish.
The popularity of clownfish as a pet has increased due to this movie. And, while clownfish do make wonderful aquarium pets, they require special care and maitenence, something most people (and especially children) don't have the experience to do so.
This was not helped at all by major aquarium supply company Tetra using this trope to cash in on this trend by "demonstrating" (read: "advertising") the "easiness" of keeping small saltwater tanks with clownfish, blue tangs, and seahorses on the CBS network's Good Morning America; and producing a tie-in aquarium kit which was prominently displayed in larger pet store chains. The blatant inaccuracy of their advice, and ridiculous inadequacy of the aquarium kits, effectively guaranteed dead fish within a very short time; and sparked a huge backlash against, and boycott of, Tetra products.
Owls after Harry Potter, which do not make good pets, as J.K. Rowling herself has felt obliged to point out. Owls are not very sociable, and don't mix well with kids. Because of this, Scotland's valleys are home to owls that can carry off a small child. This has caused a big increase in unintentional neglect of owls by owners who don't have a clue how to actually care for a predatory bird. This was addressed in the "Care of Magical Creatures" featurette on the DVD of the third movie, with one of the movie's animal trainers telling us:
"A lot of people, they see the Harry Potter films and they think that these animals make great pets and they really don't. They're not domesticated; they're totally wild animals. It seems so simple when you see it in a movie and easy, but in real life it's a constant eight to twelve hour day taking care of these animals."
In some places, fortunately, you have to have a license to have an exotic pet, and owls are thus classified.
Many, many breeds of dog. Much to the anger of dog fanciers, who observe that a burst of demand for a specific breed leads to some breeders starting to replicate dogs who are outside of breed standards or even have genetic diseases like hip dysplasia or, notorious for dalmatians, deafness. Also, many people who buy a dog because of a Red Stapler appearance don't have any prior experience with dogs, and the breeds featured in media are not always easy and unpretentious.
101 Dalmatians sparked a rise in the sales of dalmatian puppies. The dalmatian is an extremely high-maintenance dog, and any child who thinks that this would be a good dog to own without the sort of dedication children are well known for being incapable of should be set straight rather than obliged in their request.
And as the film had a sequel, so did the phenomenon: the release of 102 Dalmatians, with a blue-eyed white puppy named Oddball, triggered a run on blue-eyed white Dalmatian puppies from parents who didn't realize that the blue-eyes gene is strongly associated with deafness. (You thought a hearing dalmatian was high maintenance? Try a deaf one...)
Blue-eyed white dalmatians (and indeed, dalmatians in general) were bred at such a rate that puppy mills would inbreed lines with extreme prejudice if they could get away with it. They usually did, and caused enormous damage to the breed in general, with congenital defects ranging anywhere from extra dewclaws to clubbed limbs to clinical insanity.
The Beethoven series and St. Bernard puppies. But that was balanced out by Cujo, which averted the St. Bernard problem.
Marley and Me probably averted this. Marley was certainly portrayed as cute and lovable, but he wasn't really portrayed as a low maintenance/easy to train pet. The Tear Jerker ending probably had something to do with it as well. It helps that Labrador Retrievers are already the most common breed of dog in the English-speaking world (about half of all mixed-breed dogs in the US and Canada have some Lab in them), and tend to make excellent pets.
The Marmaduke film also averted this, as the eponymous Great Dane is portrayed as being very high-maintenance to say the least. Certain animal welfare groups were concerned about this trope, but it doesn't appear that the film has done much to increase or decrease the popularity of Danes. The utter failure of the film at the box office probably didn't hurt.
The Lassie and Lad A Dog movies (as well as the Lassie TV show) spawned such a demand for collies that pet breeders nearly managed to ruin what had been a really good breed. Even today, there are tons of badly-bred collies with poor health and the brains of an ice cube.
Shetland Sheepdogs, which are erroneously perceived as "miniature collies" and were in high demand on the erroneous assumption that a smaller dog is lower maintenance. Shelties are people-oriented and tend to be anxious, and the high demand brought these traits out considerably.
Lady and the Tramp wreaked similar havoc on American Cocker Spaniels decades ago, and the breed is still notorious today for physical and mental health problems. This compounds the problems the breed already had, as they were already prone to obesity, spinal stress, heart problems, and severe ear infection. Cocker Spaniels are highly aggressive toward humans, much more so than other breeds that are considered dangerous, like Dobermans, but Cockers rarely cause much damage because of their size, so they don't get much press.
Snow Dogs made Huskies popular for a bit. They're wonderful dogs, but definitely not for first-time owners, as they can be quite a handful.
Pit Bulls have had a significant issue of this sort since the late 70s' and in particular the early '80s. The term actually refers to several breeds, but most commonly the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier. They are commonly portrayed in films as tough guard dogs or fighting dogs (the are one of the most common for pit fighting); which tends to attract the wrong kind of owner to the breed. Raised properly by a capable owner, they can be wonderful, loving pets.
Interestingly, that was far from the first time that pit bulls were subject to the Red Stapler effect. Historically, the pit bull breeds were bred as large game hunting dogs (bears particularly), developing a strong jaw and neck, compact body, a low, wolf-like attack style, and a tendency to bite-and-hold rather than bite-worry-and-release as most other dog breeds. Because of this, they were soon very popular for blood sports like bear-baiting and pit fighting; quickly developing a reputation for fierceness and aggression much like they have now. This tendency is what also makes them extremely problematic dogs when poorly raised.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, they were popular pets for entirely different reasons — their intelligence and personable, strongly loyal nature — thanks in large part to Pete the Pup from the the Our Gang (aka Little Rascals) series of short films (who was alternately portrayed by both Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers).
Similarly, the vicious and aggressive portrayal of the Doberman breed in the media led to a surge in popularity in the 1970s, though it soon dropped significantly within a few years. As a result, Dobermans are considerably rarer today.
All Dogs Go to Heaven increased demand for German Shepherds. Of course, German Shepherds have always been highly popular, and are an easy-going and relatively low maintenance breed.
Chihuahuas have also suffered from this. Unfortunately the "purse dog" fad is still going at top volume.
What probably caused the initial upsurge in chihuahua popularity was the "Yo quiero Taco Bell" chihuahua from the 1990s advertising campaign. Chihuahua prices soared soon afterward, and many chihuahuas ended up being abandoned later because of their personalities (chihuahuas aren't friendly like cocker-spaniels, especially with strangers).
Beverly Hills Chihuahua did its best to avert this with a message in the credits saying, essentially, "make sure that you really want and are prepared to care for a dog should you get one." Ostensibly, this film is immune to the effect, as it was made in response to a terrible cultural trend that was already in existence (and apparently on the decline at the time). If anything, The Simple Life and Paris Hilton are to blame for the trend that led to the film.
Turtles, thanks to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Many parents got them not knowing that they live for decades, which is usually longer than their kids will be interested in them, and so they have become invasive species in some places. It doesn't help that parents tend to mistakenly believe that turtles are easy to care for (often believing they just need a tank, some water to swim in, and some food now and again). In reality, many species of turtle require specialized care (especially when it comes to diet) and are not for beginning reptile owners.
Another negative effect caused by the TMNT pet turtle demand was that in Great Britain, the red-eared sliders were sometimes released into the wild when kids got bored with them, resulting in them becoming an invasive species.
Ratatouille led quite a few kids to want pet rats. This actually may have been more of a sensible choice than the previously mentioned animals, as domestic rats make good pets: they're fairly low-maintenance, they're friendlier than their more popular cousins (mice and hamsters), they can be litter-trained, they don't particularly smell, and you can train them to sit on your shoulder. It's recommended you buy at least two (preferably of the same gender, because opposite sexes fight unless they're in heat, when they do a different kind of wrestling) if you're not going to be around all the time, because they're quite social and get lonely.
According to at least one newspaper article, restaurants also reported an upswing in orders of the eponymous dish.
Even years after Ratatouille, there's some significant request for blue rats.
In fact, the Ratatouille rat craze plays this trope straight because many kids (and adults, too) found out too soon that real life fancy rats are nothing like Rémy, often they were also disappointed not to have a blue one, and soon they lost interest, and the rat(s) had to be disposed of. Ever since this movie, animal shelters are bursting with pet rats.
Oh-so-thankfully averted with Rio. When it came out there was some concern that like with other films, the movie would lead to a higher demand for parrots, which would've been very bad because parrots, especially larger ones, tend to be extremely high maintenance animals. They're loud, highly intelligent, and require constant attention, play, and stimulation. They're basically like human toddlers, and people already make the mistake of buying parrots without realizing the care they require. Without stimulation they get bored and stressed, which leads to the bird developing bad habits like feather plucking or worse. They can literally go insane, and while "insane asylums" for birds exist, there are far too few of them. Thankfully it didn't happen with Rio, but that was likely because parrots tend to cost a lot of money (running from several hundred to even a few THOUSAND dollars) so people are less likely to buy them on impulse.
Demand for guinea pigs went up significantly for about a year after G-Force came out. On one hand, guinea pigs aren't especially difficult to keep compared to many other animals. On the other, they still require more care, space, and companionship than most people realize.
Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh were apparently Genre Savvy enough to be aware of this trope when they developed Phineas and Ferb, which is why they deliberately gave their protagonists a pet that was uncommon, an animal that kids could not "pick out at a pet store and beg [their parents] for."
Mexican Professional Wrestling fans have made a tradition of wearing a replica of their favorite wrestler's mask when they go to the shows. This show of support has also made inroads north of the border, with the recent success of masked wrestlers like Rey Mysterio and The Hurricane.
Not to mention that the popularity of The Hurricane's previous gimmick, "Hurricane" Helms, Green Lantern fanboy, led to a sizable number of fans showing up to arenas festooned in Green Lantern merchandise as a show of support for Helms. One wonders if the switch in gimmicks was just so Helms could move WWE merchandise instead of DC merchandise...
In the Netherlands, after a show of the famous comedian Youp van't Hek in which he had a short skit about Buckler beer (non-alcoholic) not being manly, sales dropped so bad that shortly after, up till this day, you cannot buy Buckler beer in Holland. In other countries you still can.
Rent inspired an expensive clothing line to emulate the $5 rummage sale clothes look.
Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker, based on a book, is likely responsible for the association of Christmas with humanoid nutcrackers wearing nineteenth-century clothing.
With so many Pokémon, treating every Pokémon equally in regards to official merchandise is nearly impossible. At best at least every Pokémon gets a figure. However, usually depending on what's happening in Pokémon at the very moment (mostly related to the anime), demand for Pokémon involved will jump up. That or it jumps up because said products soon become available. For instance, Diamond and Pearl has been out in Japan since 2006, but it wasn't until April 2010 that Togekiss merchandise was available due to an event involving Togekiss in the anime. Also notice that various merchandise of other Pokémon that used to be commonplace are now rare items.
For the sheer unpredictability of which Pokémon is likely to get a merchandise blitz, it doesn't need to be super cute like Pichu or Jigglypuff, or cool like Charizard or Zekrom. The most out-there Pokémon to receive merchandise based on it is probably Stunfisk (A Ground/Electric flounder Pokémon), as seen here.
The massive success of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time resulted in a massive spike in ocarina sales, specifically potato ocarinas like the one used in the game. Music stores sold out of ocarinas and couldn't keep up with demand. Many kids were disappointed when they asked for an ocarina and got something like this◊ or this◊.
To this day, Renaissance Fairs still sell baby-blue transverse ocarinas, usually with a Triforce-like sign to indicate them.
Which probably come from Songbird Ocarinas, who ran ads in Nintendo Power for at least 12 years up until its cancellation (from 1999 to 2012).
Team Fortress 2: Ask around any knife/blade shop and chances are they have had a number of people asking about butterfly knives, thanks to that globetrotting rogue, The Spy.
The game is also responsible for the popularity of real-life Nice Hat obsession among its fans, though part of it is also due to said fans wanting to Cosplay.
Fallout 3 apparently greatly increased the interest in the 1940s music that makes up most of the soundtrack. That Other Wiki says Roy Brown's "Butcher Pete" increased in iTunes sales by 700% after the game's release.
Even moreso for "Maybe" by the Ink Spots in the original and "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" by Louis Armstrong in the sequel as they were both the opening and closing themes for each respective game, rather than optional music accessed by in-game radio controls.
After a Suwa Taisha-inspired shrine made its way into Gensokyo, the real-life shrine saw a significant increase in pilgrimages.
A bizarre meta example: In Persona 3, one of the social links involves playing a online MMO themed around the Shin Megami Tensei series. The character involved in the link mentions that the MMO does not have a lot of players and is dying. Cue the Defictionalization into Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE, a game based on the Shin Megami Tensei series where following a very obscure release and some very bad choices on the developer's part, one of the most frequent complaints is that the game does not have a lot of players and is dying.
Thanks to being featured in Gran Turismo, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STi series of high performance rally cars were brought over by their respective makers to the United States.
One could also say Gran Turismo helped with the huge popularity of the Nissan Skyline, albeit when it did finally make it into the US, it evolved into the more exotic, Ferrari-fighter brand, dropping the "Skyline" name entirely and just going with GTR. While many design aspects are still prevalent, it's clearly not the same car anymore.
No More Heroes: While it's not really a big seller, you can still buy Travis Touchdown's sweet leather coat.
One firearms blogger refers to this as the "Call of Duty effect", noting that the most common search term used to find his blog was for the experimental, once-obscure Bushmaster ACR assault rifle. He attributes this to the gun being prominently featured in Modern Warfare 2. People in the comments section also noted that Modern Warfare and games like it have caused an increased interest in the military and guns in general, with the owner of a gun store providing a rather creepy anecdote about a gamer who came into his shop looking for something to "headshot some noobs" with.
Equally creepy is there's a very high chance that a good percentage of these people don't know Gun Safety. Not to mention the basic model gun to "headshot some noobs" probably runs for at least $1500, and the kind these sorts of people would prefer would go for a lot more.
Less creepy is that some companies now produce balaclavas with the same half-skull face pattern as the one worn by the ever-popular Ghost character. Airsoft copies of certain guns also become extremely popular after they're featured in one of these games - one company in particular had its stock of Beretta 93R machine pistols sell out in record time, explaining that "these things go quick like hotcakes" after MW2 featured it as one of the best sidearms in its multiplayer component.
SWAT 4 featured a stun gun that held two cartridges instead of one. They make that now.
Just about any fantasy-based game of reasonable popularity will quickly find its weapons and armour converted into LARP props. The glass and Daedric weapons from Skyrim and several of the famous World of Warcraft pieces are frequent appearances at big meets, and there even a few examples of the equipment used in Minecraft, complete with 8-Bit Tie style blockiness.
Zippo did not make cigarette lighters with the BMW logo on them until Strong Bad was repeatedly seen using a BMW lighter.
Lord Kat's renewed interest in the game Starsiege: Tribes during February of 2011 caused the number of online players to surge 300%, earning LordKat the nickname "Saviour of Tribes".
Similarly, Spoony's review of the 1994 PC game "Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge" had gamers hitting the used game stores and bargain bins in droves, searching for the obscure title.
Which, in turn, nicely remedied his problem of not being able to find any info on it.
The goal of any given Let's Play is usually to show off one of the player's old favorites, in the hopes that people watching it try the game out for themselves.
Homestuck: Anything Betty Crocker, particularly Gushers. Also, TaB and Faygo, all the more amusing given how they're known to be fairly average budget drinks. In addition, it also drove up interest in a long-out-of-print record, Eddie Morton's "I'm a Member of the Midnight Crew".
Probably safer to assume that Faygo's popularity owes more to the Insane Clown Posse directly rather than to a Juggalo-alike in a webcomic.
A popular e-mail urban legend involved a customer being charged an exorbitant amount for a Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe, and in retaliation was distributing it for free over the internet. Neiman-Marcus did not even sell a cookie at the time, but began to do so after the rumor started. (And they give away the recipe for free.)
The urban legend was previously told about many other popular recipes, including a red velvet cake supposedly offered (it wasn't) by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. William Poundstone wrote about the phenomenon in one of his Big Secrets books.
When The BBC began a re-run of Thunderbirds in 1992 (the first time it had ever been simulcast nationally) demand for Tracy Island toys outstripped supply. Blue Peter helpfully gave instructions for building a home-made version.
The video release of which ran out in minutes.
Forget the video, demand was such that there was a huge lead time in receiving a paper copy of the instructions from the BBC. (Bear in mind, this was before internet access was widespread.)
On Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable's sidekick/pet naked mole rat has led to kids wanting one for their very own. Common sense provides it's not really a Speech Impaired Animal in real life, but what even parents might not know is that the naked mole rat is basically blind, anti-cute, and one of the only mammals that are eusocial — like bees — and so can only survive in an underground colony with hundreds of other mole rats. Also, they look like this◊.
Fans credit this with Taco Bell's creation of the Crunchwrap Supreme as it is very similar in concept to the naco.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sparked a pet turtle craze as mentioned above. Sadly, parents and children alike had no idea how to properly care for them, to say nothing of the fact that the kid would in theory be well into his 70s or older before his pet bit the dust. As a result, many turtles really did wind up in sewers in the '90s. But on the lighter side, TMNT also caused a surge in the popularity of pizza.
The popularity of turtles caused by TMNT is often blamed for the red-eared sliders becoming an invasive species in Great Britain, with children releasing the animals into the wild after they got bored with them.
Played with in KaBlam!, which had a scene in an episode where Henry and June show the audience their poseable action figures. After it aired, kids across the US searched in Toys R Us/Wal Mart/Target for H&J toys. They don't exist.
After the Lady Gaga song "Poker Face" made an appearance in an episode of South Park where the boys are playing Rock Band, the song quickly made it into the real game. Even better? So did Cartman's version.
The free advertising provided by the frequent references to Wensleydale cheese in the Wallace & Gromit shorts and movie kept the makers of that cheese from going out of business.
University of Nevada hoodies were sold out from the university online store after pictures of Nevada-tan surfaced. Nevada-tan is the Internet nickname for a Japanese girl who murdered a classmate in 2004, deriving from a widely published photograph of her wearing a University of Nevada hoodie. The store temporarily withdrew the hoodie from sale after learning the reason for the sudden increase in demand.
A bizarre example of the news having this effect: following the revelation that former Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko had been poisoned with the radioactive element polonium, a Polish restaurant in Sheffield called Polonium saw its bookings skyrocket. This is probably the result of Sheffielders Googling the element and finding an advert for/the website of the restaurant in the search.
When Chef Paul Prudhomme first introduced his famous recipe for blackened redfish, it became so popular that it put the redfish on the endangered species list.
Major sports events every year inspire thousands of people to discover their inner athlete and suddenly take up said sport, only to give it up a couple of weeks after said event is over. Happens very prominently with less popular recreational sports such as tennis (try getting a public court when Wimbledon is on in the UK. Go on, I dare you.)
Even the United States Government stocks the red stapler (or at least a Skilcraft knockoff). Note the National Stock Number 7520-01-467-9434.
The Tot50 is also still available, and comes in several colors besides red. It's been updated to be more curvy and ergonomic.
Demand for Portuguese Water Dogs went up 50% after the Obama family adopted one so that the allergic daughters could have a puppy.
Build-A-Bear workshop released a commemorative Portuguese Water stuffed animal after the Obama family bought one. They even had little patriotic accessories for it.
Along the same lines, President Kennedy and his family caused a few trends—when word circulated that he could read 1600 words a minute, attendance in speed-reading courses went up.
So did books on how to make funny or witty remarks.
Rumor has it that "Kennedy killed the hat" for men, because he appeared in public not wearing one. The wearing of hats for men had actually started to decline long before Kennedy was president, and he really wore one to his inauguration, taking it off only while he was giving his "Ask Not" speech.
When Kennedy issued a list of his favorite books for Life magazine, eager Americans were disappointed to find out the list largely consisted of intellectual non-fiction history texts. The only novel on the list was From Russia with Love, which instantly became a best-seller, piqued American interest in James Bond, and ensured that it would be the next Bond novel adapted to film.
As an April Fool's joke, thinkgeek.com listed a Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. Customers were more than a little miffed to realize it was a practical joke. The site has since negotiated with Lucasfilm to get the sleeping bag approved and licensed, and is now a real product.
"Classic Star Wars sleeping bag simulates the warmth of a Tauntaun carcass"
If you have one of your own, you can participate in DragonCon's annual Tauntaun Race to win Star Wars-themed prizes.
A previous April Fools joke that turned into a real product was the 8-bit tie.
2011 wound up with this trope getting inverted (knowingly or unknowingly.) One of their April Fools items was the Super 3DBoy iPhone Gaming System - basically, an overgrown ViewMaster that uses an iPhone as the image source. What they didn't count on was that Hasbro was just about to launch the exact product as the My3D Viewer.
A fairly well-known aphorism for auto manufacturers: "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." It's their usual explanation for sponsoring racing teams.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup (as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup the previous year) had audibly made the Vuvuzela pretty popular among spectators.
In Canada (well, Winnipeg, at least) they've been around for ages. Canadians call them "arena horns" or "football horns."
The increase of the popularity of men suffering from male pattern baldness shaving their heads could be traced to the decision of basketball legend Michael Jordan shaving his head for that reason.
On February 2, 2011, knitting blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee posted an entry about her wonderful new mittens, which she had knitted from mawata (silk hankies) obtained from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. By February 12, Blue Moon's page of roving (fibers for spinning) had no entry for mawata, only a plaintive note urging eager knitters to be patient while they caught up with "overwhelming demand".
Three words: Three Wolf Moon. This ordinary t-shirt note Okay, it's not so ordinary. The camo pattern does look really cool is probably one of THE most popular products on Amazon.com, and it's all thanks to one parody review.
Also, some specialist software used by British city councils is now undergoing this trope due to WhatDoTheyKnow.com
In Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest can have the same effect. Although, Eurovision is more of a double-edged sword, as the contest has a reputation, along with the Olympics, of being ruinously expensive to host.