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Bland Name Product / Live-Action TV

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  • In Jessie, the characters get stuck in a giant tea cup bilboard for Tipton Tea, an obvious expy of Lipton Tea. Also a Shout-Out to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
  • In Hannah Montana, there's Standford University with an added D. May possibly be in a different location then Stanford given how Miley is able to drive back and forth a few times from Malibu in about a day when it usually would take between 6-7 hours one way. This could just be a case of Artistic License. It wouldn't be the first time.
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  • Blood Over Water has the villains work for Sleet Mountain. While there is a real Sleet Mountain Service Center in Newfoundland, the one in the story is a blatant stand-in for Ice Mountain. Even in the novelization, it's located "somewhere near Big Rapids." The nearby town of Stanwood hosts a real-life Ice Mountain bottling plant. In the original cut, it was Ice Mountain. Led to a lot of Clumsy Copyright Censorship later on.
  • In Korean Series:
  • The cereal-loving Jerry Seinfeld had "Double Crunch" cereal in his cupboard before Product Placement deals landed real-life cereals in his apartment.
  • "Morley", a fictional cigarette brand based on Marlboro cigarettes ("Marleys" - the box design didn't exactly hide it, either), was the brand of choice for The Cigarette Smoking Man (of The X-Files) and Spike (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Packs of Morleys have also turned up in Malcolm in the Middle, Burn Notice, The Outer Limits (1995), and the movies Spy Game, Prozac Nation, and 13, as well as elsewhere. The X-Files episode Brand X lampshades this fairly heavily.
  • Friends:
    • A number of episodes feature "Love That Crunch" cereal, which is otherwise completely the same as "Cap'n Crunch", including the character on the front.
    • Another episode had "Finger Lickin' Chicken," which was clearly Kentucky Fried Chicken under a different name... right down to The Colonel himself being on the bucket.
    • Other episodes have had, for example, "Sprito" replace "Sprite."
  • The Latest Buzz featured GleeTube in place of YouTube.
  • Legends of Tomorrow, while the Legends were disbanded, Sara took up a job working at "Sink Shower & Stuff", a parody of "Bed Bath & Beyond".
  • An episode of Too Close for Comfort has Cartoonist Henry Rush in Hollywood to turn his comic strip character Cosmic Cow into a Network Cartoon Show. The pitch meeting takes place in a room with a giant window that shows a panoramic view of the city, including a billboard for 'J&C' Scotch Whiskey.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch turned this into an art form:
    • Witches trying to magically create brand goods automatically create a Bland Name Product equivalent with an obviously similar name. According to Hilda, this is the result of the Witches' Council's intervention after the market was flooded by magically created Gucci knockoffs. They can't even conjure Rollerblade inline skates; instead, they get "Rollerblahs".
    • Other products that appeared in the episode were "N&N's" instead of M&M's; "Butterthumb" instead of Butterfinger; "Schmickers" in place of Snickers; "Popsi" instead of Pepsi; and in place of a Yoo-hoo, Sabrina manages to conjure a "Hey, Over Here".
    • The spin-off novels take this idea and run with it. Any fast food Sabrina conjures up automatically comes from a restaurant called "Burger Queen."
    • In a Season 6 episode the product keeps the name but the concept is different. Sabrina goes to the Other Realm version of Hootersnote  and discovers that it features dancers in owl costumes.
    Sabrina: "Hooters is a lot different back home..."
  • An episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has Mary buy a "Fast Wheels" car racing set for neighbor Bess (Hot Wheels).
  • An episode of Homicide: Life on the Street has a character drinking "Bedwiser".
  • Law & Order
    • Searchling is a search engine with a Google-style logo. Another search engine called Yah has also featured.
    • One episode features an obvious rip-off of the Smoking Gun website called UpTheButt, lampshaded when Branch comments it's a terrible name.
  • Skist, the soft drink of choice on Veronica Mars, is a shortening of Sunkist.
  • In the Hobgoblins episode of MST3k, an educational short Crow has made is shown on a "Stony" TV.
  • In Beetleborgs, a bottle of "Fountain Don't" (Mountain Dew) is used to trick one of the main characters to drink a mutation potion.
  • Used to an extreme in every single Nickelodeon show produced by Schneider's Bakery Productions. This includes All That and The Amanda Show (mostly lampshaded) as well as Drake & Josh and Zoey 101. Extremely narmful in iCarly, where their webshow is called "iCarly" but they still listen to "pearpods," talk on their "pearphones" and lug around oversized "pearpads," and all the computers have a pear logo on them. It's the same with sister show Victorious. Drake and Josh has a Game Sphere (parody of Nintendo's GameCube) and Megan has a Pintendo GS (a parody of the Nintendo DS).
    • The i in iCarly stands for Internet, not as a reference to the Apple products. Though, Dan Schneider himself has a liking for Apple computers, thus he parodies it in the form of the Pear products in the show.
    • iCarly also features that orange rag they sell on TV at 2 in the morning, the "Sham-Pow."
    • Both Drake & Josh and iCarly have featured the Chinese restaurant chain "B.F. Wangs" instead of P.F. Chang's.
    • In the Amanda Bynes sitcom What I Like About You (another Schneider show), Holly buys an "I-Bop" and downloads hundreds of songs onto it.
    • Interestingly, in later episodes of iCarly and Victorious, the PearPhones and PearPads themselves were shaped like pears, and not like the usual rectangles.
    • Sam & Cat went so far as to lampshade it. "You see, they can't use real Pear products on the show, so they replace them with Bananas."
  • Zoey 101 seemed to favor putting a school emblem over the manufacturer's logo (as was also done on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide).
  • Even Big Time Rush does this: e.g., "Cosmopilan", a bland-name version of Cosmopolitan.
  • The fictional girlie magazine Playpen, which made its first recorded appearance in an episode of The '60s Sitcom That Girl and is still going strong. Spot it in Married... with Children, Malcolm in the Middle, Family Guy, That '70s Show, Kyle XY, The X-Files, Millennium, Friends, Lost, NCIS, Rules of Engagement...
  • You Can't Do That on Television
    • One sketch features a kid's mom finding his stash of "Playtoy" magazines.
    • The series also skewered the "Pepsi Challenge" commercials on various occasions - in one episode Alasdair takes the "Pep Pop Challenge," and in a cut scene from the pilot episode of Canada-only spinoff Whatever Turns You On, Ruth Buzzi participates in the "Peski Challenge" (electrocuted by Dungeon Master Nasti when she gives the incorrect answer as to which soft drink she prefers).
    • The show could and did get away with not using Bland Name Products when it was a local-only show in Ottawa, Ontario. For example, the local version of the Peski Challenge sketch (featuring a local child actress instead of Ruth Buzzi) refers to Pepsi by name, and a mother (played by the same child actress) "gives" her children McCain's Deep and Delicious Pies (in the face), replaced on Whatever Turns You On by Ruth Buzzi and the fictional "McSplat's Deep and Delectable Pies."
  • An episode of The Bill featured the police looking for clues on the young female kidnap victim's "FaceSpace" page.
  • Brit Com The IT Crowd
    • The 'Friendface' episode, as well as the eponymous social networking site, soft drink "Cuke", resplendent in exactly the same packaging as Coca-Cola.
    • In a later episode: "This man has no online presence. He's not on Friendface, he's not on Jitter."
  • Harry Hill's TV Burp had a skit featuring the shopping channel OVC, instead of QVC.
  • Coronation Street
    • Characters buy their food at "Freshco" rather than Tesco.note  There's also the search engine "Voggle" (instead of Google) and a social media website called Face-Scene with green graphics - despite other characters also referencing Facebook.
    • Later lampshaded by Harry Hill's TV Burp with a skit about them going to "Frainsbury's" (Sainsbury's) as well.
  • Murphy Brown
    • The show has a box of Dunkin' Donuts in almost every episode... except the familiar logo has been changed so that it reads "Donuts Donuts".
    • They zigzagged whether FYI was a CBS News show or not; for the most part, there wasn't an eye to be seen anywhere but they mentioned CBS reporters and anchors as coworkers and spoke of the network by name. The Revival plays it straight with CNC and Wolf Network standing in for CNN and Fox News respectively.
  • Frasier: The brothers go to buy a new recliner for Martin and the salesman recommends a "La-Z-Guy" chair.
    Frasier: "La-Z-Guy." I wonder what they call the deluxe model? The "Hopeless Slack-Ass?"
  • The Middleman created "Your Face in a Tube", simultaneously making us think of MySpace, Facebook, AND YouTube in one awesome website name.
  • The JAG and NCIS teams regularly view reports from the ZNN news channel.
  • NCIS does this with several different brands. GSM for FHM, Cybervid for Erbdiyr/ YouYube and Pagebook for Myspace/Facebook, depending on what the plot demands. Possibly the strangest example is the 'Bearey Smiles' talking teddy bear ment to be a stand-in for the Tickle Me Elmo craze of the nineties. It's... underwhelming.
    • Beary Smiles is a third-rate Teddy Ruxpin.
    • DC Blend as a stand-in for Starbucks is probably the most noticeable because the cups are on almost every episode.
    • One episode also features Lei's potato chips.
  • Averted when it's their own network being shown. 24 will show Fox News, Law & Order will show NBC, and so forth.
    • Makes perfect sense.
    • In ER, news programs were from the Chicago NBC affiliate, using actual 10 PM anchors (generally Warner Saunders).
    • Cue Spooks, a BBC show, courting some controversy when SkyNews popped up in an episode.
  • The Big Bang Theory
    • In the university canteen, soft drinks such as Dr. Pepper and Diet Cola are sold in cans identical to the real-life brands. Sheldon's non-existent cousin (who was made up to fool Penny) had apparently escaped rehab and was staying at a Motel 8.
    • After being disappointed by the taste of orange juice and amount of crispiness of a toasted English muffin, Sheldon addresses a tub of margarine.
    I have no trouble believing you're not butter.
  • The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica has a Spaceline called Pan Galactic which uses an identical symbol to Pan Am, examples of which can be seen here and here.
    • This was apparently a Shout-Out to 2001: A Space Odyssey (which featured Pan Am commercial space shuttles from the Earth to orbit and the Moon) rather than a get around for copyright, which makes slightly more sense In-Universe since the series is set over 150,000 years prior to Pan Am ever existing.
    • It kind of also sounds like a Shout-Out to Hitchhiker's Guide's Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
  • Chuck features a smoothie place called "Orange Orange." Their logo is written in a font identical to that of Orange Julius's logo. They also have Buy More, a poorly-disguised version of Best Buy. Instead of a Geek Squad, they have a Nerd Herd. There's also Large Mart, presumably a knock-off of Wal-Mart.
  • Everybody Hates Chris
    • In the "Everybody Hates Halloween" episode, Julius buys Gravy Ways (Milky Ways), M&N's (M&M's), and Butterthumbs (Butterfingers) as a way of saving money on Halloween candy.
    • The family also uses Tussin (Robitussin cough syrup) as a cure-all for every type of ailment.
      Tonya: Mom! Chris got hit by a bus!
      [Rochelle is seen grabbing her purse and an economy-size bottle of Tussin as she runs out the door.]
    • Tussin is actually an "off brand" name. Cheaper version of the brand name but perhaps not quite as effective. Sold in Walmart stores, for example.
    • Chris at one point mentions that their family would buy boxes of "Cookie" from the store. Not "Cookies," just "Cookie," as in one giant cookie in a box that they would have to cut up and share.
  • Castle
    • In one episode the title character's mother is making a "MyFace" account.
    Castle: MyFace? Don't you mean—
    Alexis: Don't bother, I've been trying to correct her all day.
    • In another episode, the team is tracking a money order from a bank called "Machovia."
    • "" is a video website.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Web of Fear" prominently features a bar of Camfield's Fairy Milk Chocolate, with packaging resembling the 1960s Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate design. Doubles as a fun little injoke as Douglas Camfield was the director of the serial.
    • The new series occasionally features the Alphabet News Network "AMNN," most often during News Monopoly scenes.
    • Early in the new series, the search engine that present-day humans were likely to use was This was a real but non-functional website with a publicly accessible front page, which is archived here on the Wayback Machine.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Tito's" brand potato chips show up on numerous occasions. The bag looks very similar to a Frito-Lay Ruffles bag.
    • Happy Cat in Season 8, obviously intended to be Hello Kitty.
  • Degrassi tends to come up with Bland Name Products for anything media-related, and avert it otherwise unless something is an independent small business in-universe. They seem to use a lot of Canada-only brands so the aversions aren't immediately apparent to viewers in the US and elsewhere.
    • They also use fictionalized names for Canadian universities but real names of U.S. ones.
  • Season 7 of 24 involved a chemical weapons threat perpetrated by none other than "Starkwood," the U.S.-based private army— security contracting firm.
  • Leverage had an interesting twist to this in season 1: Instead of having fake products, they would have real products, but would never show their names or labels. For example, Hardison is clearly seen drinking orange Jones soda, but the front of the label was always against his palm or otherwise turned away from the camera.
  • On the US/Canadian version of Queer as Folk, Michael worked at the "Big Q," a thinly disguised Kmart.
  • In Little Britain, Judy and Maggie belong to the fictional "Women's Association" instead of the Women's Institute. In the initial broadcast of their sketches, they were from the Women's Institute, but it was hastily changed when the real organisation did not want to be associated with such vulgar characters.
  • Notably averted with Warehouse 13 in the episode "Love Sick." TigerDirect features prominently in the plot, as the Villain of the Week was employed here.
  • In an early episode of Sliders the gang visited an alternate world where computers ran on the "Doors" operating system.
  • Community
    • One episode has Annie eating a bag of "Let's" potato chips, obviously in the style of Lay's potato chips. The Tag in the final episode of Season 3, "Introduction To Finality," has Leonard doing a YouTube review of Let's chips.
    • If anyone is drinking a can of beer it will be "Olde British 800", looking very much like the "Olde English 800" malt liquor.
    • The search engine being used is "".
  • CSI has a few examples of renamed Playboy-type magazines.
  • CSI: NY refers to Facebook simply as "profile pages" a couple of times, but on other occasions openly displays bottles of Dasani water. Other "bland names" are World Send delivery company, Mighty Glue, and Kiddie Klay (for Play Doh).
  • The CBC High School Sitcom Mr. D is an interesting case; the school's name (Xavier Academy) and uniforms suggest it's a Catholic school, but that's never stated outright and there are no priests or nuns in sight.
  • In Hidarime Tantei EYE, characters can be seen using a search engine called "Bogel."
  • In Supernatural, the search engine used is "Search the Web." "" is a social networking site. In the episode "In My Time of Dying," Sam uses a "Mystical Talking Board" to communicate with Dean during his out-of-body experience.
  • In the Unforgettable episode "The Man in the Woods," the main characters visit a diner whose beer list includes Spam Adams and Limstel.
  • Averted and lampshaded at once in the Season 4 NCIS episode "Witch Hunt," in which a teenage witness reports the car used in a hit and run is a Kuruma. Gibbs takes it as misdirection since it's the Japanese word for "car", but McGee points out it's the stand-in name for a Chrysler Sebring in Grand Theft Auto III.
  • Lampshaded and played with in the later seasons of 'Til Death. Joey attempts to prove that everyone's living in a TV show and points to the numerous fake brands and trademark dodges as examples. Earlier, Eddie and Joy are shown replacing boxes of actual brand-name product with Bland Name Products because cash is tight and they can't afford actual brands anymore.
  • Scrubs has Coffeebucks.
  • In the TV mini-series for Stephen King's The Stand, the beer two of Flagg's guards are drinking is labeled "Beer," although the cans are colored and the font used is a very near match to Coors.
  • On Bones, Hodgins and Zack once tested whether zooplankton could survive feeding on toxic human flesh using a chunk of poisoned meat in a tank with "Sea Chimps" (= "Sea Monkeys"). Averted with the meat, which was openly stated to be Spam.
  • Sesame Street does this, since it's on PBS and Sesame Workshop wants to avoid Product Placement. Some of the product labels include drawings of Muppet characters.
    • The games in the background of the Sesame Street Community Centre include Dos (for Uno), Tricycle playing cards (for Bicycle), and a very Sesame Street take on a Parental Bonus with Cards Supporting Humanity (a party game for wonderful people).
  • It's easy to miss, but in Spaced places like the JobCentre aren't given their real-life branding. The real-life JobCentre decided (perhaps a touch humourlessly) that they didn't want to give the impression that any of their staff would give preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of how they felt about The Phantom Menace.
  • Sherlock has "MePhone" as a stand in for "iPhone."
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch parodied a series of Taster's Choice instant coffee ads with an ad for "Tayster's Choice" spermicidal jelly.
  • Elementary
    • A publication printed on pink paper called the "Investor's Post" in season 1, an apparent stand-in for the real life Financial Times.
    • There is an online community called "Everyone" which works somewhat similar hacks as Anonymous. And "Jamaica Quay" for Pirate Bay.
    • In one episode, one of the suspects was involved in smuggling Barnen Delight, an Italian chocolate egg with a toy inside that is illegal in the US because the toys are considered choking hazards, exactly like the real-world Kinder Surprise. ("Barnen" is Swedish for children, "Kinder" is German.)
  • The standard Disney Channel equivalent of the Apple iPhone seems to be the "zPhone", and it factors in episodes of many episodes of Disney Channel series such Hannah Montana, Shake it Up, and A.N.T. Farm.
  • An episode of Come Fly With Me has Taaj (one of the airport staff) driving around a buggy belonging to an organisation called the UKAA (UK Aviation Authority), a play on real life organisation "the British Aviation Authority". The buggy features a red version of the BAA logo, whereas in reality it is green.
  • In one episode of You're the Worst, Jimmy receives a "Manchester FC" football jersey from his father.
    • Several characters make references to the Red Napkin meal prep delivery service, a clear parallel to Blue Apron.
  • On Silicon Valley, which is largely about the start-up culture in Silicon Valley, the production team said one of the hardest parts of character design was the company names. Nearly everything they came up with was taken. Although other companies are sometimes mentioned by name, the main character Richard works for Hooli, a thinly-veiled parody of Google.
  • On Now and Again, trucks with the logo "Toys B' Fun" were often seen.
  • Open Heart has "pinblr", which seems to be a bland variation of both Pinterest and Tumblr.
  • A Different World, which takes place at a historically black college, features fake historically black sororities and fraternities, although extras are seen in the background wearing real sorority/fraternity paraphernalia. Dwayne and Ron attempt to join "Kappa Lambda Nu" and Whitley is a member of "Alpha Delta Rho", which combines the names of some of the more well known black sororities (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Gamma Rho).
  • NUMB3RS:
    • CalSci is this to Caltech, though the university serves as an inspiration.
  • The Scream: The TV Series has Cliplicious and Chirpster as its bland-name versions of YouTube and Twitter respectively.
  • Comic Relief 1989 featured a parody of the hugely popular Nescafe adverts (the ones with Tony Head and Sharon Maughn).
    "Nafcafe Gold Bland. If you like it that much, get your own bloody jar!"
  • On 3rd Rock from the Sun Dick calls his Mr. Potato Head "Mister Potato Man."
  • In Riverdale, Hermione Lodge teases her husband, having noticed a "Spiffany's" bag, about whether it contains a "Glamergé" egg; Veronica borrows her mother's "American Excess" credit card.
  • Legends of Tomorrow
    • During the team's 10-Minute Retirement in "Aruba-Con", Sara is working for a version of Bed, Bath & Beyond called Sinks, Showers & Stuff.
    • "Beebo, God of War" opens at a Toys Are We. The eponymous Hug-Me Beebo (the must-have toy of Christmas 1992) is a sort of cross between a Tickle-Me Elmo and a Furby.
  • The Carol Burnett Show had multiple sketches which parodied commercials where a character is approached by a stranger asking them to try a new product. In all of the sketches, people enter a woman's kitchen and tell her about various products.
    • In one sketch, the products included Leg & Hammer (Arm & Hammer) baking soda and Borito (Purina) Dog Chow.
    • In another sketch, the products were Charming (Charmin) toilet paper, Pufferin (Bufferin), American Depressed (American Express) traveler's checks and Joyful (Joy) dishwashing liquid.
    • One sketch had Smooth and Dry (Soft & Dri) deodorant, Lady Schtick (Lady Stick) deodorant, Bubblemint (Doublemint) gum, stockbroking firm E.F. Sutton (E.F. Hutton)
    • In a sketch with several dolls, one is named Barbrie (Barbie) and one is named G.I. Jack (G.I. Joe).
  • An episode of For the People sees "Yowler" used as a substitute for Tumblr.
  • The Swinging episode "Get Lost" begins with Rosy and one of her friends playing a fictional version of Milton Bradley's Twister called "Tangles".
  • Tiara of Magic x Warrior Magi Majo Pures! loves ordering things from "Hayaizon" (Amazon).
  • In the Lewis episode "Allegory of Love", Hathaway hands Lewis an article he printed from "Netipedia", which has an "i" logo instead of the jigsaw globe, but otherwise looks exactly like The Other Wiki (although the article in question - for Jorge Luis Borges' fictional location Uqbar - doesn't exist, being a redirect to the story it appears in).
  • Billions: In Season Four, Bobby gets involved in a takeover of Salers, an old but failing department store chain with a logo that is clearly based on the old but failing Sears department store chain.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Living Doll", Talky Tina is based on the wind-up doll Chatty Cathy and is even voiced by the same actress, June Foray.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. One sketch was about a semaphore version of Wuthering Heights created by the film company 20th Century Vole (20th Century Fox).
  • Succession:
    • With the central Roy family being a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of the Murdochs, their news channel ATN is obviously a stand-in for Fox News, another news channel that is frequently accused of being a right-wing mouthpiece. Likewise, the liberal PGM news network, ATN's biggest rival, obviously stands for CNN, which is Fox News' biggest rival.
    • Edgy digital media outlet Vaulter is a mix between VICE, Buzzfeed and Gawker. The office is eerily similar to VICE's, the inane headlines are in the style of VICE and Buzzfeed, and the Vaulter plotline in the show mirrors Gawker's real-life trajectory.
  • Broad City:
    • Abbi works at Soulstice, a parody of the New York-based and extremely yuppy-friendly Equinox gym chain.
    • Ilana's place of 'work', Deals Deals Deals, is based on a similar company called Lifebooker that Abbi, Ilana, and writer/director Lucia Aniello used to work at.
    • Trey's fridge is stocked full of Thinny Chicks wine, a parody of Skinnygirl.
    • A yoga instructor in "Getting There" uses a Sabian gong, based on Zildjian.
    • In "Jews on a Plane", Abbi and Ilana take a Birthmarc trip, a parody of Birthright Israel.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Cold Reading", Dick Noble, African Explorer is sponsored by the cereal Krisp-O-Meal, which is based on Corn Flakes.
    • In "The After Hours", Marsha Cole buys a Cornfield Kids doll for her landlord's daughter Jennifer, a reference to the Cabbage Patch Kids. The doll itself is a repurposed Cabbage Patch Kid in a corn ear.


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