In many of the Green Aesop
shows, it seems like the big corporations just want to ruin the environment. That's not true; corporations usually exist to offer a product or a service to the population... right?
This trope applies to every fictional company that causes pollution to extreme levels. It of course applies to companies owned by people fully aware of what they're doing and who keep going anyway. Sometimes, what they sell isn't even known; at other times, we know what they're producing, and it could be an aggravating factor, depending on the product.
At other times, the owner of the company is barely aware of all the destruction caused by the enterprise. It might come off as a surprise, or be discovered by that owner in a dramatic manner
. The fact that this person was unaware of the full extent of environmental damage makes the situation even worse.
The owner of such a company
is usually rich, so that he can hire villains to get rid of the heroes, or pull himself out of any lawsuit thrown at him
with his Amoral Attorney
Contrast Muck Monster
where a creature is the source of pollution. If the enterprise is also a factory (and it most likely is), it can also be dangerous for the workers
. Such enterprises usually appear in and heavily contribute to Crapsack Worlds
. These can become Anvilicious
due to the strong relation to green aesops. Again, those enterprises don't necessarily pollute the environment and might instead damage the ecosystem of a part of the world. It doesn't have to be in a Green Aesop
-centered work of fiction, either.
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- The 1990 action-comedy film Men At Work is heavily related to this trope, as the two protagonists are facing a company illegally dumping toxic matters.
- In The Karate Kid Part Three, Corrupt Corporate Executive Terry is president of... Dyna-Tox Industries.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, TGRI is the corporation that produced the mutagen that mutated the Ninja Turtles, and in the story are trying to clean up the contaminants that the company dumped onto the land, which mutated the surrounding plant life.
- Mr. Grosso's business in House IV involves a lot of toxic waste. So much so that the plot is driven by his flunkies trying to claim the main setting to dump it there.
- The Lorax and its animated adaptations: The Once-Ler pretty much destroys the whole environment through his Thneed factories. It is of course even more precise in the animated adaptations, as much of the torts are shown on-screen.
- In the MacGyver episode "The Spoilers", Mac and and a hermit from the mountains work to try and stop a group from illegally dumping radioactive and toxic waste into a stream.
- In Dilbert, there was a strip in which the Pointy-Haired Boss showed concern that kids were spending too much time outside to care about their company's product. Dilbert suggested that the company diversify their product base, but the PHB decided that he'd just pollute.
- Many Pentex subsidiaries in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The small fries think they are just doing it to cut the cost. The leaders know they are doing it entirely on purpose, because the whole company is under control of an Eldritch Abomination seeking to corrode both the physical and metaphysical bonds of creation so that it'll be freed from its prison.
- A lot of them are Expies of actual companies, such as "Endron" vs Enron. Understandable, as building an oil-pipeline through endangered species habitats for "profit alone" almost writes itself when dealing with a Gaia's Vengeance plot.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender had an episode about the Fire Nation's machine factory causing pollution that mutated the fish in the river.
- In Bens City, Minister of Environment Henry Wallet and his counselor Ben face twice the owner of an enterprise named Toxicompany, which heavily pollutes the air. Only in its second appearance do we learn they are manufacturing paint thinner. Aggravating factor for sure.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers is pretty much built around this trope. The show is already a heavy Green Aesop series and most villains are polluters. In all these villains, there's got to be quite a few that are companies bent on polluting. Probably an Enforced Trope, as a more realistic characterization would cause young viewers to think poorly of real adults working in similar industries.
- The Cramp Twins has Hazchem, Soap City's premier manufacture of heavy-duty cleaning products and despoiler of the local swampland.
- Family Guy
- Santa's workshop in the episode "Road to the North Pole". Its chimneys are spreading pollution in the air, and large pipes spill even more pollution in the North Pole. Oh, and considering this part of the world is already directly affected by all the pollution, it only makes things worse...
- In the episode titled ""It Takes a Village Idiot, And I Married One", Lois discovers that Lake Quahog is severely polluted and that a local oil refinery is responsible, and since Mayor Adam West authorized their dumping toxins into the lake, she runs for mayor against him. When she wins, she has the lake cleaned up and prohibits further dumping, but embezzles the leftover cleanup funds, and is soon blackmailed by the company executive into allowing them to dump toxins in the lake again. There's even a ribbon-cutting ceremony re-opening the pipe dumping the toxins.
- Not necessarily a company, but in Futurama, one of Professor Farnsworth's inventions serves a nearly-useless purpose yet creates tons and tons of toxic waste.
- In The Oblongs, Poison company Globocide. Aside from their products, the company is implied to be responsible for the squalid conditions and deformities of the people living down in the valley.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Destroido is responsible for a lot of pollution; it turns avocados into monsters.
- The Simpsons:
- In "The Old Man and the Lisa", Mr. Burns discovers thanks to Lisa the joys of recycling, and to thank her, he builds a factory that bears her name. However, Little Lisa's Patented Animal Slurry uses millions of six-pack plastic holders stuck together to clean up the seafloor, grabbing plants and animals, and turning them to a multi-purpose compound. He destroyed the ecosystem of the seas surrounding Springfield. Definitely an aggravating factor.
- Burns' power plant is responsible for a lot of environmental disasters surrounding Springfield, and all the jokes the staff can think up to go with the mutations caused to the fish. Remember Blinky?
- Burns does get a taste of his own medicine, though. As he was participating as a candidate in an election, he goes for dinner at Homer's house, except... Marge serves him Blinky. Unwilling to eat it, Burns loses the election. Though, you can't blame him. That fish would be deadly.
- Super Friends (1973-74) episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". The title ecoterrorist uses his control of the weather and the oceans to try to convince the owners of three companies to stop polluting the environment.