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Fun With Acronyms / Film

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  • The James Bond films had the evil organisation SPECTRE, which was the SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.
    • Probably subverted with the fancy-sounding but as far as we know, not acronymmy QUANTUM.
      • Memorably homaged in Carry On Spying, which featured the evil organisation STENCH (the Society for The Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans) and the more ambiguous SNOG (the Society for the Neutralising Of Germs..."I've always fancied doing a bit of SNOGging, meself!").
  • Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back feature the Coalition for Liberation of Itinerant Tree-dwellers, described as an offshoot of the Liberate Apes Before Imprisoning Apes movement. (Justified in-universe. The members of C.L.I.T. ask Jay to describe his cunnilingus technique on-camera, and send the video to the news media to set Jay up as the "C.L.I.T. Commander".)
    • Making for an... interesting news report on their actions...double entendre, here we come...
      • The CLIT does not exist. By the way, in Real Life, there's Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
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  • Intolerable Cruelty features the National Organisation for Matrimonial Attorneys Nationwide, which boils down to NOMAN, although to do so it has to repeat the part about being national. This seems kind of irrelevant until you find out the organisation's slogan: "...let NOMAN put asunder".
  • The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear movie featured several organizations opposing solar power with names that result in incredibly ironic acronyms: the Society of Petroleum Industry Leaders (S.P.I.L.); the Nuclear Power industry's Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind (K.A.B.O.O.M.), and the Society for MOre Coal Energy (S.M.O.C.E.; that is meant to be pronounced "smoke").
  • In the satirical movie Team America: World Police, it was quite simple for the filmmakers to change the name of the Screen Actors Guild — which already has a pretty unfortunate acronym — to the Film Actors Guild.
    • How could you forget I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.?
  • When Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. first appears in Iron Man, he doesn't use the acronym of his organization when talking to Pepper. The best part is, apparently they didn't notice the coincidence:
    Coulson: I'm Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
    Pepper: That's quite a mouthful.
    Coulson: I know, we're working on it.
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  • In R.O.T.O.R. (a horrific B-Movie rip-off of Robocop), the title character stands for Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research. ...Except for one scene where it's displayed on a computer screen and the last 'R' is changed to "Reserve". Hilariously, at one point RiffTrax uses it as a Full-Name Ultimatum for the title character.
    Dr. Coldyron: R.O.T.O.R.!
    Bill Corbett: Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research, you get up here right now!
  • In The Blues Brothers, the brown-shirted group of Illinois Nazis led by Henry Gibson is the American Socialist White People's Party ("Asswipes"). The acronym is a Stealth Pun which doesn't appear in the film.
    • Deliberately averted, meanwhile, with the State County Municipal Offender Data System.
  • People who weren't fans of the Star Wars prequels had a ball with pointing out the acronym of Episode III to be Star Wars: ROTS.
  • In the James Bond spoof Our Man Flint, Derek Flint is a former agent of the Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage. He battles the evil organization Galaxy, which in a relative stroke of creativity, appears not to be an acronym for anything.
  • The Cat in the Hat:
    • The Cat has a car called the Super Luxurious Omnidirectional Whatchamajigger. It's better than its previous name, the Super Hydraulic Instantaneous Transporter.
    • The Cat has the riding-mower-style house cleaning device, the Dynamic Industrial Renovating Tractomajiggar.
  • C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller, and is a lot of fun to pronounce. Well, it actually stands for Contaminated Hazard Urban Disposal.
  • Everyone knows that HAL 9000 (Heuristic/Algorithmic), the sentient computer in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is named such that if you take the next letter after each letter in its name, you get IBM. Leonard Wheat, in his book Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory, argues that this is not a coincidence (in spite of Arthur Clarke's insistence). Wheat plausibly explains the origin of the 9000 in the name, and also goes on to argue (convincingly!) that the moon monolith's official designation of TMA-1 should actually be spelled "TMA ONE" and is an anagram for "NO MEAT". Wheat's web page suggests that the AE in the troublesome "AE 35 unit" in the film stands for Aeolus. Big fun with acronyms.
    • Incidentally TMA stands for Tycho Magnetic Anomaly, since the first monolith was buried in the Tycho crater on the moon and was discovered only because it produced odd readings in the moon's magnetic field. This mentioned only in the book (kinda self-explanatory, though).
  • Godzilla:
    • The film Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla had the giant robot named M.O.G.U.E.R.A which stands for "Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-Type." The full title was basically applied to the name of the Mogeras from The Mysterians, which wasn't originally an acronym.
    • Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms in Godzilla (2014). The male one can fly. Interestingly, the "species" is referred to as Muto rather than M.U.T.O., the acronym.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam: Adrian Cronauer has some fun with the stodgy major when he tries to prepare the Army radio DJ crew for the upcoming press conference ("PC") with the "VP" (Richard Nixon at that time):
    Cronauer Seeing as the VP is such a VIP, ahouldn't we keep the PC on the QT? Because if this leaks out to the VC, the VP could wind up MIA and then we'd all get put on KP!
  • In the comedy J-Men Forever (1979) the F.C.C. (Federal Culture Control), KRAP Radio, and M.U.S.A.C. (the Military Underground Sugared Airwaves Command) join forces to broadcast schmaltzy music to counter the rock & roll invasion of Earth. And there's Billy Batson Batchit, who becomes The Caped Madman (a re-dubbed Captain Marvel) by uttering the magic word "SH-BOOM!", enabling Billy to "take on all the vices of a J-Man of the Secret Service: S for Sneaky, H for Hateful, B for Bigotted, O for Obnoxious, another O for Double-Obnoxious, and M for Mean!"
  • In the Watchmen movie, Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias uses a device called "SQUID" to destroy New York City and several other cities. What does "SQUID" stand for? Sub-Quantum Intrinsic Device. "The squid" is the fan name for the giant tentacled alien creature that destroys NYC in the original graphic novel, and the name was inserted into the movie either as a Mythology Gag referencing the book's original ending or a salt-in-the-wound attack on an overprotective fanbase.
  • D.E.B.S., which stands for Discipline, Energy, Beauty, and Schoolgirl fetish Strength, but is actually short for 'debutantes'.
  • The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad or D(I)VAS (er, plus Budd).
  • The G.I. Joe movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, has a lot of changes from the source material (much to fans' displeasure), one of them being that the "Real American Heroes" are now international. "G.I. Joe" was a reference to World War II-era General Infantry units, with "Joe" a generic moniker; with the name retained for the movie despite the "American" part going out the window, the creative minds behind the movie decided to shoehorn in an appropriately awkward acronym. Feast your eyes upon the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity!
    • Actually, GI seems to have started out as an abbreviation for 'Galvanised Iron' military equipment, then for 'General Issue' equipment and adopted in that sense by the troops for themselves, not 'General Infantry.'
  • Glengarry Glen Ross: Always Be Closing; Attention Interest Decision Action
  • In The Avengers (1998), one of the Villain organizations is named the British Royal Organization for Lasting Liquid Years. "Brolly" is British slang for "umbrella", which is appropriate since the plot of the movie involves weather control.
  • Accepted dealt with the exploits of a group of would-be college freshmen, who after being rejected from all the colleges and universities to which they had applied, proceed to "create" their own "college": The South Harmon Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T).
    • Undoubtedly derived from the persistent urban legend that claims that a Texas college was nearly named the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (or Teaching).
  • In Peter Jackson's first film Bad Taste, the heroes are part of the Astro Invasion Defense Squad.
  • In the 1987 film remake of Dragnet, starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, they uncover a sinister organisation named 'P.A.G.A.N.' - People Against Goodness And Normalcy.
    • P.A.G.A.N. is led by Reverend Whirley, who is also the founder of M.A.M.A, the Moral Advance Movement of America.
  • Parodied in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or FLDSMDFR. Flint insists on pronouncing the acronym despite how confusing it is for other characters.
  • The Transformers Film Series gives us NEST. Unfortunately, there are conflicting explanations for what the acronym stands for - it's either Networked Elements: Supporters and Transformers, Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty, or Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Team, depending on the source.
    • Confusing, especially since there's a real-life NEST: Nuclear Emergency Support Team.
    • There's also N.B.E.-1 (Non-Biological Extraterrestrial), the Government's designation for the frozen remains of Megatron.
  • One that's easy to overlook but obvious in retrospect, L.A. Confidential has a character, Pierce Moorehouse Patchett. Any guesses what his covert occupation was?
  • Upped To Eleven as pretty much every single main character with Pixar's WALL•E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter · Earth Class) has one(i.e. Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, and the Microbe-Obliterator).
  • From Blue Thunder, JAFO (Just Another Fucking Observer), used to refer to the chain of observers that Frank Murphy is said to go through because of his behavior. The viewer isn't made aware of the expansion until after Lymangood gets killed.
  • From Men in Black:
    Jay: See this badge? It says N-Y-P-D, which means I will Nock...Yo...Punk-ass...Down.
  • In the T&A comedy H.O.T.S. the name offically stands for "Help Out The Seals."
  • In Star Wars, TIE fighters were called that because the original TIE fighter looks like a bowtie. It canonically stands for Twin Ion Engine.
  • According to the manual (quite literally, in this case) for Inception, the device the characters use to administer sedatives and facilitate the sharing of dreams is called the Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous Device.
  • The low budget Captain America (1979) film staring Reb Brown had the Super Serum Full Latent Ability Gain.
  • In Kiss Of Death, Little Junior claims to have an acronym for himself: B.A.D. for "Balls, Attitude, Determination". He suggests Jimmy Kilmartin (who's secretly informing on him) get one too - since he's spent most of the film as the Butt-Monkey, Jimmy gives the snarky suggestion of "F.A.B." for "Fucked at birth". What seems like just a comic moment turns out to be important later, when Jimmy finds his missing young daughter... with "BAD" written on her forehead.
  • Batman: The Movie: Catwoman masqueraded as a writer from the Moscow Bugle named Kitayna Ireyna Tatanya Kerenska Alisoff...but suggested that Bruce call her KITKA for short. He even commented that it was a charming acronym.
  • In the 1981 film Looker, the device used to kill the commercial actresses is called L.O.O.K.E.R., for Light Occular-Oriented Kinetic Emotive Responses.
  • In the first Madagascar, Alex and Marty are reuniting on the titular island in slow-motion, and Alex slowly turns angry as he runs towards Marty (as he is why they got stranded on the island in the first place). When Marty realises this he turns the other way (still in slow motion) and yells "Oh, Sugar Honey Iced Tea!"
  • Pacific Rim: "Chasing the RABIT", or Random Access Brain Impulse Triggers.
  • Pump Up the Volume: In an effort to shut down Christian Slater's guerrilla radio broadcasts, the school board and the police created a fake student outreach program to draw his attention. The program was named BIONIC: "Believe It Or Not, I Care!".
  • The title of S.I.C.K. Serial Insane Clown Killer. Phrasing it that way for the sake of a catchy acronym induces a bit of Ambiguous Syntax - It's a movie about an insane, serial-killing clown, not a serial killer who only targets insane clowns.
  • G-Saviour: The nation that replaces the Earth Federation is CONSENT, or Congress of Settlement Nations.
  • The in-universe books written by Guru Pitka in The Love Guru fit this:
    • Distraction. Regression. Adjustment. Maturation. Action.
    • Gee, You are you
    • Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
    • Be Loving and Open with My Emotions (which he pronounced as "bloum")
  • The 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still turned "Gort" into an acronym by the military, which stands for "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology". We're supposed to accept that a robot can have genes. Even one of the characters thinks that the acronym is ridiculous.
  • In Sudden Impact, Harry's partner Horace calls him a "jamf" twice before Harry asks him, "What the hell's a 'jamf'?" Horace replies, "That means you're a Jive-Ass Mother--" "Forget I asked!"
  • In Camp Takota, Jared plans to turn the title girls' summer camp into a camp focusing on social media, or as he calls it, a "Digital and Interactive Camp": As Maxine points out, this means that he's going to "specialize in dick". He's already gotten customized t-shirts made, which means that the two main antagonists spend the whole film in matching shirts that read "DIC".
  • Yellow Submarine: "H is for hurry...E is for urgent...L is for love me...and P is for please help!" (The E for "urgent" was just bad wordplay.)
  • The Princess Diaries had one of the reporters saying M.I.A. (in which it stood for Missing In Action) when the young princess, Amelia "Mia" Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway's character), is nowhere to be found in San Francisco (just before Joe finds her).
    • At the start of the VHS tape (and DVD) to the 2001 Disney teen movie, the THX logo (in which it stood for Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment) is shown before the 1990 WDP logo (also stood for Walt Disney Pictures), thus opening the movie (with Walt Disney Pictures Presents intact) as soon as the special features trailer, the calm/gentle Feature Presentation (and the This Film Has Been Modified) screens fade out (VHS version) (the DVD version had a DVD navigational menu in which you automatically push the play button on your DVD remote to start the movie).
  • Thank You for Smoking has several:
    • The Society for the Advancement of Firearms and Effective Training for Youth is the gun lobby's PR organisation.
    • Entertainment Global Offices is a Hollywood talent agency.
    • Nick, Polly and Bobby - tobacco, alcohol and firearms lobbyists respectively - form the Merchants Of Death, referencing The Mod Squad.
    • BR is presented as the only surviving member of his Vietnam War unit. A picture of them is shown with the others being stricken out by red crosses, just like the cover art of Battle Royale
  • In Joe's Apartment, Joe has a job interview with a urinal cake manufacturer called P.I. Smith & Sons. It starts out seeming like a Stealth Pun up until he gets the job, and is given a bright yellow uniform with "P.I.S. & S" in big letters on it.
  • WarGames has the "War Operation Plan Response", also known as the "WOPR" (pronounced like "whopper") computer.
  • In Captain America: Civil War, Binarily Augmented Retro Framing, better known by its acronym B.A.R.F., is a prototype created for therapeutic pursuits allegedly by Tony Stark.
  • In Comic 8, when each criminal groups are planning their heists, they are constantly referring to "Bank INI" (Indonesian for THIS Bank). Later it is revealed that "INI" stands for "Indonesian Netherlands Incorporated".
  • From Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965).
    "Sometimes I suspect that you forget you're a member of Secret Intelligence Command. You're a SIC man."
  • The No Budget Predator knock-off Robowar has the lead character heading up a team of marines nicknamed BAM — Big Ass Motherfuckers.
  • In The Chain Reaction, the name of the evil corporation W.A.L.D.O. stands for "Western Atomic Long-term Dumping Organisation".
  • P.R.O.B.E., a series of direct-to-video science fiction films by BBV Productions, features an organization that investigates supernatural mysteries. The full name of the organization is the Preternatural Research Bureau. (Where does the O in the acronym come from? It's a mystery...)

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