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Fun With Acronyms / Live-Action TV

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  • The Gerry Anderson series are generally big on acronyms. From Stingray (1964), we have WASP (World Aquanaut Security Patrol): from The Secret Service, BISHOP (British Intelligence Service Headquarters, Operation Priest); from Joe 90, WIN (World Intelligence Network) and BIG RAT (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope, Record And Transfer). To name but a few.
  • The first movie of Brazilian group Casseta & Planeta: an anarchist is trying to name his group. First option goes "PIROC" (something like "PRIC" - "No, not that! Who'll want to get into the PRIC?!"). The following two, "METE" and "CHUPA" ("put in" and "suck"), are only liked by their depraved hostage. So he decides to put something that would encompass each member of the group - Party Anarcho-Nationalist Anti-meat (a radical vegetarian) Carlos (surname of the other guy) - PANAC, which with an "a" at the end would be "dork" in Portuguese (the hostage thought it fit the group perfectly!).
  • 30 Rock,
    • The C.A.S.H. scam shows up again, only this time the alleged charity is the "Chicago All Saints Hospital".
    • In another episode, Liz goes to a GE retreat with Jack. She's excited about going to lunch until she discovered that "lunch" was a class called Lego Utilization for Negating Crisis Hierarchies. After this, she gets the chance to go to "class", which turns out to be Consuming Lunch And Simple Socializing.
  • From the Pilot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    Maria Hill: What does "S.H.I.E.L.D." stand for, Agent Ward?
    Agent Ward: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.
    Maria Hill: And what does that mean to you?
    Agent Ward: It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out "Shield".
    • Given that in the MCU S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded by the colleagues of Captain America a few years after the Captain's apparent death, Ward's explanation might even be correct.
    • Also played with in some of the episode titles, such as "T.R.A.C.K.S." and "T.A.H.I.T.I." — neither of which are explained.
      • "T.A.H.I.T.I."note  however is shown to be an in-universe acronym - although the final word is unclear from the freeze framed pictured, Terrestrialized Alien Host Integrative Tissue I(nitiative?) - i.e. using the fluids from an alien corpse to create a regenerative serum.
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    • The Gadgeteer Genius duo Fitz-Simmons had two inventions that fit: their mini-quadcopters named after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are the Drones Wirelessly Automated to Retrieve Forensics, while their tranquilizer gun is the Incapacitating Cartridge Emitting Railgun.
  • An All That sketch had the League of Amazing Magnificent Outstanding Superheroes.
  • A skit from the Belgian sketch comedy show Als 't maar beweegt features Belgium's latest entry to Eurovision, the Flemish answer to ABBA comprised of Stephanie, Herman, Ingrid and Tony.
  • The title of A.N.T. Farm. It stands for "Advanced Natural Talents, and the word "ant" is used to refer the students who make up the A.N.T. Farm program.
  • The Army Game: In "The Take-Over Bid", the boys from Hut 29 create a fake company as part of a Zany Scheme to prevent the camp from being sold. They name the company 'Happiness Unity Trust, 1929'. It is only much later, when things have gotten completely out of hand, that Sgt. Snudge is looking at the paperwork for the complicated web of deals now flying around and realises that the abbreviation for 'Happiness Unity Trust, 1929' is 'H.U.T. '29'.
  • Lindsay from Arrested Development mentioned a charity organization called "HOOP". While the name itself sounded innocent, it was in fact for an anti-circumsicion thing, and stood for "Hands Off Our Penises". And then, when the show was about to be canceled, Michael and George Senior Jossed the idea of an eventual Channel Hop, saying that the House Builders Organization refused to work with the Bluth Company.
    • The name of the episode? S.O.B.s, which also stands for Save Our Bluths, a fan site dedicated to saving the show. The web address even flashed across the screen at one point in the episode.
    • For years, the Bluths made fundraisers for an illness called TBA. Which, at first, was simply meant to be a notice that they hadn't decided on the disease yet, and it was To Be Announced. And then there's Maeby who fakes a terminal illness which she calls "BS" (pretty self-explanatory).
    • And then, there's MRF on Rita's bracelet, first thought to stand for Mr F, then revealed to stand for Mentally Retarded Female.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Fusion, Ignition, Research Experiment and Science of Transmutation Originating RNA and Molecular Structures, AKA Firestorm.
    • Anti-Metahuman Adaptative Zootomic Organism, AKA Amazo.
    • Justified with S.T.A.R. Labs on The Flash (2014): Harrison Wells (the real one, it's complicated) was originally going to call his laboratory the Technical Engineering Scientific Studies as a tribute to his wife, Tess Morgan. Tess suggested that he name it the Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Laboratory because she considered him her "star". Her name ultimately won out.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has the redundant Direction Range And DIStance instead of RAdio Detection And Ranging.
  • A The Big Bang Theory episode has Leonard, Howard, Raj and Leslie team up against Sheldon on a science competition. The formers' team is called Perpetual Motion Squad. The latter's team is called Army Ants. Dr. Gablehauser, who hosted the competition, was clearly not amused, but didn't comment.
    • In "The Bus Pants Utilization", the guys are developing Leonard's idea for a new smart phone app. Sheldon suggests naming the app "the Surprisingly Helpful Equation-Linked Differential Optimized Numerator", and pretends the acronym was unintentional.
  • Brass Eye goes to town with this trope. The acronym either resembles a rude word (such as SHADT for Schools Heightened Aversion Drug Therapy and FUKD for Free the UK from Drugs) or a nonsense word (the best being GEFAFWISP for Global Ensortium for A First World Iniative on Scientific Practice).
    • Another funny wordplay from the pedophilia special refers to the H.O.E.C.S. (hoax) games that pedophiles use to physically interact with children through the Internet.
  • An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had an organization known as Mothers Opposed to the Occult, who saw fit to raise the stakes against most of what features in the show. Naturally, they lampshade it.
    "Oh... and nice acronym, Mom!"
  • On Burn Notice
    • When dealing with some anti-government militia man, Sam coins the boss the E.N.I.C. or "Extremist Nutbag In Charge".
    • When Fiona was in prison she met a merchant inmate named "Ayn" who boasted of being able to provide Anything You Need.
  • The 2001 revival of Card Sharks, which had a Las Vegas-themed set and virtually nothing in common with previous versions of Card Sharks. As a result, it quickly earned the Fan Nickname of "CaSINO", which stood for "Card Sharks In Name Only".
  • The occasional Colbert Report segment Stephen R.A.P.S, which stands for RAPS And Positive Speaking.
  • Come Back Mrs. Noah: The Britannia Seven is launched from the Pontefract International Space Centre, or PISC, which sounds a bit rude and is therefore used as a joke.
  • An episode of Community has a couple examples:
    • The KFC space simulator computer S.A.N.D.E.R.S. (Systematic Android Network Diode Energy Rocket System).
    • A second example is the C.C.C.P (City College Cosmic Program), a Genius Bonus when you realize that C.C.C.P. are actually the English letter imitation of the Cyrillic name for the USSR. "C.C.C.P." was placed on the helmet of the first man Soviet Union actually sent into space.
  • An episode of Corner Gas makes acronyms a running joke. The crew form the The Committee To Convince A Young Doctor To Live In Dog River. Lacey is naturally unimpressed with the crew's insistance of calling it by such cumbersome acronym of C.T.C.A.Y.D.T.L.I.D.R (pronounced "kit-kay-dit-tiddler" by Brent). The same episode also mentions the Greater Regional Rural Administrative Zone ("G-Double-R-A-Z" or "grazz").
    • Another episode had the cops run a anti-drunk-driving program called Systematically Limit Impaired Driving Everywhere, or S.L.I.D.E.. They later change it to Fully Reduce Impaired Driving Anywhere, or F.R.I.D.A.
      Davis: It's not as strong an acronym, but it's friendly!
    • Another episode shows that Wanda likes to write her name in wet cement. Davis somehow never suspected her.
      Davis: Oh, that's Wanda who's been writing her name!
      Oscar: Who else would be writing "Wanda"?
      Davis: I thought it was an acronym for something.
      Oscar: For what?
      Davis: I don't know. Western Associations of Non-Developed Agencies? World Agencies for Non-Developed Associations? Wizards Against Naked Dancing in Alberta? William And Nadine's Dental Appliances? [chuckles] And those are just off the top of my head.
  • In the 1970s, TV Ontario aired a children's series called Cucumber, which stood for Children's Underground Club of United Moose and Beaver for Enthusiastic Reporters.
  • The Daily Show has a long-running gag where the anchor would read the full name of an organization when it is first introduced, and acronym it as "NAMBLA", e.g. "Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or NAMBLA". Of the 10 F*** ing Years montage played sparingly throughout 2006, one showed the scale of just how many times this joke has been used (even after ignoring the countless times Craig Kilborn did). There were, of course, variations—they created fictional organizations that could be abbreviated as NAMBLA and then identified themselves as members of such; they created portmanteaus of NAMBLA and other acronyms (NAMBLOPEC), or just pronounced it funny (NAMBLA during an Ice Age? N-n-A-a-a-M-m-B-b-L-A-a-a.)
    • Jon Stewart eventually ends the segment by apologizing for any distress he's caused the North American Man-Boy Love Association — "or, as it's more commonly known, UNICEF."
    • They've also done this with organizations that were already abbreviated ("The AARP, or NAMBLA",) and during the Mark Foley scandal, there was "The National Man/Boy Love Association, or 'Congress'."
    • One other segment had a correspondent who supposedly forms a group called "News Activism Means Better Living for All."
    • Also, when they had a panel of "experts" from fictional organizations Citizens Offering Crucial Knowledge, and "Gaywad", which actually doesn't stand for anything.
    • To explain and elaborate on the concept of a "taint team", Trevor turns to a correspondent whose stated only legal credentials are that he's been told not to go within 20 feet of Denny's; what follows is a two-circle venn diagram ("that I carry around with me") and a Hurricane of Puns about what represents what, before he gets to the matter of All Notable Documents Under Suspicion. Asked where the "D" is, he gestures appropriately to where the D is. Trevor understands why he's not allowed at Denny's anymore.
  • The H2IK sequence in Defying Gravity basically means "Hell if I know". It just makes the people saying it sound like they know what they're doing.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space).
    • One can not help but suspect that the name of the Celestial Intervention Agency from Doctor Who, which frequently flouts the all-important law of non-interference, is not unintentionally reminiscent of a certain terrestrial organization.
    • UNIT, short for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. The Expanded Universe took this further: the French branch is called NUIT (French for "night"; Nations Unies...), in Russia it's OGRON (for Operativnaya Gruppa Rasvedkoy Obyedinyonnih Natsiy, which roughly translates as "United Nations Reconnaissance Operations Group", but also happens to be the name of a Doctor Who monster), and one novel set in World War II featured an equivalent organisation called LONGBOW (for League Of Nations Global Bizarre Occurrences Watch)
      • According to the fact book A History of the Universe in 100 Objects, UNIT was named after signs put up on roads to direct the crew to location filming sites.
      • In the revived series, as of the fourth season, the organization has been renamed to the "UNified Intelligence Taskforce", in response to some issues the actual United Nations had with the name (though not with the UN affiliation, for whatever reason).
      • The start of the fourth series in April 2008 coincided with the online game NationStates renaming its fictional United Nations into the "World Assembly", due to similar objections. The close timing is coincidental, as both must have been legally threatened well ahead of time, but it is possible that this was part of the same "trademark clean-up" effort at the UN.
    • TOMTIT from "The Time Monster": Transmission Of Matter Through Interstitial Time.
      • The Past Doctor Adventures novel The Quantum Archangel, a direct sequel to "The Time Monster", features an advanced version of TOMTIT called TITAN - Trans-Interstitial Time Analysis Network.
    • In "The Green Death", the megalomaniac computer which plans to take over the world was called BOSS (Bimorphic Organisational Systems Supervisor). "My creators found it amusing. I find it... appropriate."
    • LINDA, the London Investigation 'N' Detective Agency.
      • Which first appeared during Russell T Davies' time as writer of Why Don't You..., as the Liverpool Investigation 'N' Detective Agency.
    • Averted with TORCHWOOD, which is actually more like "Fun With Anagrams": rearranged, the letters spell "Doctor Who".
    • Professor Yana, who's actually The Master in human form. The Doctor is then reminded of the Face of Boe's dying words: You Are Not Alone.
    • "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" takes the "use letters from within the words" cheat to its logical conclusion with ATMOS, which stands for "ATMospheric Omissions System". (With bonus Incredibly Lame Pun.)
      • And the "inventor" would get annoyed when people referred to it as the "ATMOS System".
    • According to Steven Moffat, the Working Title for "Silence in the Library" was "A River Song Ending", apparently generated when he and Russell T Davies were playing a game of inventing Doctor Who titles with rude acronyms. And yes, that is actually why she's called River Song.
    • "The Next Doctor": The title character has his own TARDIS... the Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style, a hot air balloon.
    • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, when Sarah describes what former companions are doing, she mentions "Dorothy something" who now runs an organisation called A Charitable Earth.
    • One of the books has the St Oscar's Database Information Terminus, sometimes called "The facility that dare not speak its acronym".
    • The Big Finish audio Minuet In Hell is a remake of a Fan Fic audio, relocated from Regency England to America, 20 Minutes into the Future. For much of it, the Doctor is locked in a mental institution called the Brigham Elisha Dashwood Laboratory of Alternative Mentalities; the original version, of course, used the real Bedlam.
    • The Lethbridge-Stewart novels feature a predecessor to UNIT called the Home Army Fifth Operational Corps, or HAVOC (with "V" being a Roman numeral). (HAVOC was also the name of the UNIT-era stunt crew.)
    • In the P.R.O.B.E. semiprovids, Liz Shaw is working for the Preternatural Research Bureau. The "E" could be the one in "Bureau", but where the "O" comes from is anyone's guess.
  • It's too early to know if this acronym is intentional, but in the Dollhouse episode "Getting Closer" (2x11), Caroline (the future Echo) and Bennett first meet on the campus of the Tucson Institute of Technology.
  • Humorously done in an episode of Drake & Josh when Drake wins a contest to go skydiving. The skydiving instructor gives Drake the directions on what to do in five easy steps - Squat, Pray, Leap, Aaah (the shout you make as you go down) and Touchdown. The final acronym doesn't exactly give you the best encouragement.
  • In the TV-movie Drop-Out Father, the hero's friend points out to him that the advertising agency they work for, Cannon Rush, Allison & Perkins, has an appropriate acronym.
  • In Eight is Enough, the youngest member of the family, Nicholas, mentions a mnemonic for all the names of the eight kids in the family, by age: Dumb Martians Just Sit Nearby Eating Tender Noodles which stands for David, Mary, Joanief, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy and Nicholas.
  • The brainwashing device in the Eureka episode "Lost" is named the Adrenaline Suppression System and referred to by the acronym, frequently as belonging to its creator Dr. Parrish.
  • Family Matters has the fictional Illinois Occidental University.
    • Also, Carl Winslow's middle name is Otis, making his initials spell "COW". This has been explicitly pointed out on at least one occasion.
  • Fast Layne gives us the self-driving car V.I.N. (Vehicle Integrated Neurotech).
  • Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story: Her husband interrupted the first meeting of her newly formed organisation, whispering in her ear the self-defeating nature of the acronym of the new movement: Clean Up National Television. The "National" was quickly removed.
  • Friends:
    • Chandler's job required him to pay attention to the Weekly Estimated Net Usage Systems, as well as the Annual Net Usage Statistics.
    • Joey gets cast on "Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.", where the latter is a Cybernetic Humanoid Electronically Enhanced Secret Enforcer. Joey fails to realise this isn't just a happy coincidence.
  • Full House had Jodie Sweetin appearing in a No Smoking PSA in which it goes by the name of Donna Jo IS Clueless, Annoying, Rude and Dumb (often known as DISCARD), whom her big sister, DJ (Candace Cameron), smokes in college.
  • Get Smart had the organizations CONTROL and KAOS, neither of which stood for anything.
    • The series also gave us the mercenary spy organization FLAG, which stood for FreeLance Agents AmalGamated. They admit it's quite a stretch.
  • The Golden Girls gives us Blanche E. Devereaux.
  • The Grand Tour has brought us many important automotive-based facilities, such as the Grand Tour Special High Intensity Test Track and the Grand Tour Institute of Technology.
  • Subverted in Heroes: While playing to The Men in Black trope, Mr. Bennet denied working for the government by saying "I'm not a part of any organization with initials". Fans promptly played with it by adopting the Fan Nickname OWI ("Organization Without Initials"). Bennet was also commonly referred to in official media as HRG, short for "(the man with the) Horn-Rimmed Glasses".
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall and Lily buy an apartment on a new trendy neighborhood named Dowisetrepla. Only too late do they realize that it stands for Down Wind of the Sewage Treatment Plant.
    • In another episode, Robin wins the Local Area Media Award, whose initials Lily pronounces as "Lame-ah."
    • What's Barney's job? When anybody asks, he just dismissively says, "Please." P.L.E.A.S.E., stands for Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything: basically, he's getting wealthy by being the fall guy for his company's illegal activities. At least, until he colludes with the FBI.
  • The original Kamen Rider fought the evil organization SHOCKER, which was a Gratuitous English acronym for Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm.
    • And Kamen Rider X gave us GOD, the Government Of Darkness. That probably wouldn't go over too well outside Japan...
    • Kamen Rider Decade has a meta-example, as "Decade" is derived from "DCD" - Data Carddass, the company that makes the Card Battle Game Ganbaride from which several key elements of Decade (like his Transformation Trinket and the cards that power it) are derived.
    • The Movie of Kamen Rider Double has the terrorist organization NEVER, which our heroes learn is short for NEcro-OVER.
    • Kamen Rider Double also has WBX, which is implied to stand for... Double Boiled EXtreme! (In Japan the letter "W" is pronounced as "Double"- not "double u" like the rest of the world- so it did made sense.)
    • Kamen Rider Agito involves a police unit formed to fight mysterious monsters called the Squad Against Unidentified Lifeforms.
    • For a version with syllables, the names of Kamen Rider OOO's various Combos were mashups of the Medals that made them up. Usually they were just nonsense words, but in the franchise Milestone Celebration movie, he used his usual Taka (Hawk) Medal with Imagin (from Kamen Rider Den-O) and SHOCKER (see above) Medals; making TaMaShii Combo ("tamashii" being the Japanese word for "spirit" or "soul").
  • K.C. Undercover: The robot girl Judy's name stands for Junior Undercover Digital Youth.
  • The Kids from C.A.P.E.R. (1976): "The Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody, Regardless!"
  • In Killjoys the local Bounty Hunter guild is named the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition, so of course everybody knows them as The Rack.
  • In Knight Rider, Michael and co. worked for the Foundation for Law And Government. Despite the catchy acronym, they only use "FLAG" a couple of times on screen, preferring to say "The Foundation".
    • On the other hand, there was K.I.T.T himself (Knight Industries Two Thousand)
      • And his evil prototype K.A.R.R. (Knight Automated Roving Robot)
      • And in the 2009 Revival, it was Knight Industries Three Thousand.
  • In one episode of Last of the Summer Wine, Howard, in one of his ploys to be with Marina, created a fake club (which he claimed Clegg started) called the "Outdoor Activities Fellowship". He didn't realize what the acronym was until Clegg pointed it out, saying that it was a very fitting badge for him to wear.
  • A segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver dealing with sex education cites two real-life abstinence programs that use this trope, Why Am I Tempted and Abstnence Protects Everyone. The third such example eschewed acronyms, so he provided one for them: "No Screwin' Around, which I assume stands for No One Should Copulate Regularly Except Wedded Individuals. Now A Reacharound Occasionally Ultimately Not Disastrous".
  • In one of the recurring "Celebrity Secrets" segments aired during Late Night with Conan O'Brien, John Tesh claimed his last name was also an acronym for his goal in life: Tickle Every Single Human.
  • Lois & Clark met several of them in the episode where Lex Luthor's ex-wife was inducing people to hate Superman. One of them was Superman Tyranny Over People.
  • According to the Look Around You episode on maths, it stands for the gibberish phrase Mathematical Anti-Telharsic Harfatum Septomin.
  • Lost had the DHARMA Initiative (Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications) - using a religious concept as basis for the acronym makes total sense given the thing was created by basically hippie scientists.
  • Averted by Lost in Space. According to Wikipedia, the full designation of the Robot from Lost In Space is the B-9, Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot. How did the creators of a mid-Sixties camp SF show resist the temptation to dub the thing "G.U.N.Th.E.R."?
  • MacGyver (1985): Murdoc works for the Homocide International Trust... making him a literal "HIT man".
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo has the Shoot Hell Obduracy Trooper organization, or SHOT, which its titular heroes belong to. Another fine example of Gratuitous English.
  • MADtv has a recurring skit of a college group called Kappa Kappa Kappa Sorority. The girls are more than aware of what the initials can also stand for... and one of them is black.
    • A rival sorority of theirs is named Zeta Iota Tau.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a classic example; the titular organization's acronym stood for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, while their enemy organization THRUSH was the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.
    • Note that the acronymization for "THRUSH" is of questionable canonicity. In the series, no such expansion of the name was ever given. The "Technological Hierarchy" acronym derives from several Expanded Universe U.N.C.L.E. novels by author David McDaniel. However, not only is the "United Network Command" expansion of "U.N.C.L.E." canonical, but series creators Sam Rolfe and Norman Felton included an acknowledgment of the organization's help in every episode's end credits: "We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible."
    • The straight meaning of uncle led to several uncle-related jokes in the series. However, in dubbed versions sometimes the acronym was also translated. In Latin-America the series became El agente de CIPOL, where the acronym stood for "Comisión Internacional Para la Observancia de la Ley", a close aproximation of the original meaning. All the uncle-related jokes were kept, however... and were rendered nonsensical.
  • In Married... with Children, Al started an anti-feminist organization known as the National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood, or NO MA'AM. The spacing and apostrophe are of course just for show.
    • In Brazil, they're known as SEM ELAS (without female "them" - the pronoum has no gender-neutral equivalent in Brazilian Portuguese) or Sociedade Etílica de Maridos Escapando do Lar Atrás de Sexo (Etilical Society of Husbands Escaping Home for Sex)
    • The Russian remake Happy Together set in Yekaterinburg, Russia, has this organization named Bortsy Ekaterinburga Za Besposchadnoe Absolutnoe Baboistreblenie (fighters of Yekateriburg for merciless absolute gynocide), abbreviated as BEZ BAB (without broads).
    • There's also Marcy's Moral Guardian group Feminists Against Neanderthal Guys (Neanderthal Guy is a show that Al likes), along with her pregnancy group Women Owe Men Bupkis.
  • In one episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye has been made Officer of the Day and has to wear the requisite armband. He then claims that it means he is Olivia De Havilland.
  • Maude: Arthur creates the Fathers Against Gays Society.
  • The Middleman has a subversion with O2STK, the Organization Too Secret to Know. (or WTHWWF, Whoever The Heck We Work For, depending on the time period.)They play this straight with one of the Middleman's gadgets, the Bio-harmonic Universal Multi-Modular Emotional Rerouter (B.U.M.M.E.R.). Guess what it does?
    • The most mysterious one, however, concerns F.A.T.B.O.Y Industries, who in fact stands for the Federated Agents of Tyranny, Betrayal and Oppression's Yoke - just you wait for the 13th episode...
  • The "Mr. Neutron" episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus had the American agency the Federal Egg Answering Room, actually the cover for the Free world Extra-Earthly Bodies Location and Extermination center.
  • Mr. Young parodies this with ARTHUR-the Artificial Robotic Teenager Hippopotamus Umbrella Rainbow.
  • My Name Is Earl has Black Ladies Of Wrestling, which Joy's black sister Liberty Washington becomes a member of.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    • The title itself is one: MST3K.
    • The Incredibly Strange Creatures episode pushes it even further, making fun of the film's overly long title by having Crow and Tom Servo participate in Walkathon charities with outragously long titles.
      • W.A.L.K.A.T.H.O.N.: Walkers At Large Kinetically Altruistic Through Hygiene Or 'Nowledge
      • H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T.: Hi, Everyone. Let's Pitch In 'N' Get Cracking Here In Louisiana Doing Right, Eh? Now Then. Hateful Rich Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Everytime Someone Eats A Radish, Carrot, Hors d'oeuvre, And Never Does Dishes. Eventually, Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Neuesberger Tod
    • Then there is the SOL itself. In-canon, it stands for Satellite Of Love, like the Lou Reed song, but also for a vulgar idiom that describes Joel/Mike/Jonah and the 'Bots predicament quite well.
    • The movie Agent From HARM had Mike and the Bots have a blast coming up with HARM's acronym.
    • What do you do if you encounter a time portal? It's as easy as T.I.M.E.!
      Gypsy: T.I.M.E. Tell someone. Identify when the portal goes to. Make a plan. And Enter the portal, comma, not!
      Jonah: Gypsy, that last one is really confusing.
      Crow: You try coming up with something that starts with E, maggot!
  • The New Adventures of Beans Baxter featured the Nebulous Evil Organization the Underground Government Liberation Intergroup, or U.G.L.I. for short.
  • Alan B'Stard aka The New Statesman had a lucrative con with a number of bogus charities including Christian Approach to Society Handbooks following Croatian And Serbian Helpline and later Central Amazonian Spiritual Healers. He is later called on it in a television interview and a list is read out.
    Alan: (Talking on the Telephone) Yes, it is a lot to write on one cheque. ... Well, why not just write the initals: C-A-S-H.
  • On The Noddy Shop the name of the eponymous shop comes from Notions Oddities Doodads and Delights of Yesterday.
  • The Nebulous Evil Organisation in Odisea Burbujas is Contaminadores y Destructores Anónimos (Polluters and Destroyers Anonymous) or CYDA (AIDS in Spanish).
  • In The Office, Dwight remembers to Keep It Simple Stupid while doing sales.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, Del buys some headed notepaper for the business. He initializes everything, because "Modern businesspeople only speak in initials." Their company is Trotter's Independent Traders, and Rodney has a Diploma In Computerization. Lampshaded when Rodney comments:
    Rodney: Del, thanks to your high profile, we now have a company called "Tit" and a director with "Dic" after his name.
    • Another episode has Del's talk that he dreams to one day walk out onto a balcony with their company's initials in giant letters above him. Rodney snarks how appropriate it is that he dreams about being under a 20ft sign calling him a "Tit".
  • An episode of Pawn Stars on which somebody bought a boat used "Bust Out Another Thousand" (to refer to the incessant expensive repairs and maintenance often needed for used boats).
    • This backronym has also been referenced, appropriately enough, on Deadliest Catch. With all the repairs that are done to the crab boats, it's surprising it's not used more often.
  • In an episode of Pushing Daisies, the Norwegian detective team's mobile crime lab's full name is the Mobile Investigative Lab Facility (made even funnier by the fact that it's referred to as "Mother" throughout the entirety of the episode).
  • Red Dwarf,
    • In Polymorph, Rimmer is attacked by a creature which removes all his anger, and leaves him suggesting that they humanely rehabilitate the beast. To that end he proposes an organisation known as the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society. He himself recognises that the acronym could be a problem.
    • In Back in the Red - Part II Rimmer mentions an Operation Get Rimmer Officerhood, Power and Eminence, or GROPE for short.
    • In Cassandra, Rimmer mentions that the name of the Canaries convict army is said to be an acronym of Convict Army Nearly All Retarded Inbred Evil Sheepshaggers.
    • In Siliconia, the crew are captured by the Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front. They proudly declare themselves to be MILFs on several occasions.
  • Several Robot Wars contestants used this trope for naming their robots, by far the most hilarious was S.M.I.D.S.Y (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). That particular robot was constructed by a team of bikers and named after the traditional excuse given by car drivers when they cut off or sideswipe a biker.
  • On RuPaul's Drag Race, competing drag queens must show off their Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent to win a year's supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics, and $100,000.
  • On Saturday Night Live;
    • The "Jingleheimer Junction" sketch had four characters on a kids' show with the first letters of their names on their shirts, each one referring to a particular virtue: Freddie Friendship, Umberto Unity, Carla Caring, and Katie Kindness. Jingleheimer Joe is forced to cut the show short when the other hosts innocently convince Freddie Friendship to move to the front of the line.
    • A Weekend Update sketch during George W. Bush's presidency had the news that due to the success of "No Child Left Behind," the administration would be introducing another governmental program aimed at 'helping' young people: "Do Right And Follow Through."
  • Scorpion had an episode where the team does a training mission with the military and the soldiers kept referring to the members of Team Scorpion as SMACK's - Soldiers Minus Ability Coordination or Knowledge.
  • S.A.M. from Sesame Street, which stands for Super Automatic Machine. Those who were severely freaked out by him as children would argue Satan's Automaton of Malice would be more accurate.
  • Sexo y Otros Secretos ("Sex and Other Secrets")
  • Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell has this discussion of mining industry jargon:
    Elaine: Well Shaun, the best known of the acronyms is of course the FIFO, meaning "Fly-In, Fly-Out" worker. A more specific subgroup of the FIFO are those workers who helicopter in and helicopter out, the HIHO, who are traditionally shorter miners. Some employees may prefer to cab it in and cab it out, the so-called CICOs (pronounced "sickos"), or perhaps you're a TITO, if you train it in and train it out, or if you're the first Yugoslavian president. Now, Shaun, can you work out what this one ("DIDO") would be referring to?
    Shaun: Uh, "Drive in, drive out"?
    Elaine: (laughing) No, she's a singer!
    Shaun: My mistake.
    Elaine: And finally, there's the workers who like to take the escalator into work and the escalator immediately out, the EIEIO.
  • Space: Above and Beyond features a M.A.R.I.N.E.S. chant.
    M: Mean as Hell!
    A: All the Time!
    R: Rough and Tough!
    I: In the Mud!
    N: Never Quits!
    E: Every Day!
    S: Semper Fi!
  • Spin City:
    • A con man (Charlie's dad, as a matter of fact) manages to get the mayor to write his organization, Convicts Are Saved by Horses a check, and asks him to just use the acronym.
    • In the name of equality, the Mayor broadcasts his intention to eradicate Prejucide, Malice, & Small mindedness, as the camera zooms in to frame only him and those three letters. Paraphrasing: "There's no need for it. It's like half the city goes mad every month."
  • Stargate SG-1 has the N.I.D. The initials are always sounded out, and no one ever mentions what it stands for. When a fan asked him, actor Michael Shanks replied: "Nid."
    • It means National Intelligence Department, according to the Stargate Wiki.
    • Stargate Atlantis gave us Friendly Replicator Android.
      • The third season finale had this:
        McKay: Look, why don't we just wait until Area 51 finishes the P.W.A.R.W.s?
        Weir: (sighs) Which one's that again?
        Sheppard: Planetary-Wide Anti-Replicator Weapons.
    • SG-1 has a lot of acronyms in regular use as it focuses on a military organisation, but the seriousness of the meaning varies a bit, as seen with the IDC (IDentification Code) being transmitted using a GDO (Garage Door Opener).
    • The thing that opens the Stargate is a DHD (Dial Home Device)
  • In Star Trek, "phaser" stands for PHASed (possibly short for PHASe-modulated as of Star Trek: Enterprise) Energy Rectification because lasers were too new a technology in the 1960s to still be plausibly used in the distant future.
    • According to the novelization of Star Trek: The Next Generation's pilot episode, Geordi LaForge is wearing a Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement. Geordi comments that he sometimes wonders how long it took them to come up with that one.
      • Also the handheld tablet computers were called Personal Access Display Devices.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise had a team of SpaceMarines called MACO's (for Military Assault Command Operations). Which gave them an excuse to wear a cool mako shark on their arm patch.
    • Inverted in Star Trek: The Original Series; several parts of the Engineering Room set were stencilled with the acronym GNDN to indicate that a studio set Goes Nowhere and Does Nothing.
  • Super Robot Red Baron has the Secret Science Investigation, a peace-keeping organization that the heroes are a part of.
  • From Super Sentai:
    • In Himitsu Sentai Goranger, the group backing the heroes is EAGLE, the Earth Guard League. The finale also points out that the first syllables of the Gorangers' full namesnote  Kaijo Tsuyoshi, Shinmei Akira, Oiwa Daita, Peggy Matsuyama, and Asuka Kenji phonetically add up to the Japanese pronunciation of the constellation Cassiopeia.
    • J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai takes playing card ranks (Jack, Ace, King, Queen) and arranges them into something pronounceable. Sounding vaguely like "Joker" doesn't hurt.
    • In Gekisou Sentai Carranger, the first syllables of the Carrangers' surnames (Jinnai, Domon, Uesugi, Shinohara, Yagami) spell out the Japanese word for "automobile", jidousha.
    • In Denji Sentai Megaranger, the first letters of the original Megarangers' surnames (Date, Endou, Namiki, Jougasaki, Imamura) spell out denji, or "electromagnetic".
    • In Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, the first syllables of the Hurricanegers' surnames (Shina, Nono, Bito) spell out shinobi.
    • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the first syllables of most of the Ozu siblings' names (Makito, Houka, Urara, Tsubasa, Kai) spell out the Japanese word for "magician" or "magic user", mahoutsukai.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger: Born-to Outerdimension and Mechanic x Pitcrew-type ENGINE-support Robot, or BOMPER, the team's robot buddy.
      • And the first syllables of the Go-ongers' surnames (Esumi, Kousaka, Rouyama, Jiou, Ishihara) spell out the Japanese pronunciation of "ecology", ekorojii. When Hiroto and Miu Suto join the team as Sixth Rangers, it becomes ekorojiisuto (ecologist).
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger has two: First, the main teams' surnames (Daigo Kiryu, Ian Yorkland, Nobuharu Udō, Sōji Rippukan, Amy Yuzuki) spell out kyouryu, the Japanese word for "dinosaur". Their first names along with the Sixth Ranger and the first of a few Guest Star Party Members (Daigo, Ian, Nobuharu, Sōji, Amy, Utsuemimaru, Ramirez) make the English word dinosaur. (It's not clear if or how the remaining guest Rangers can fit into an acronym.)
    • Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger has a given-name acronym for each of its teams. The Lupinrangers are Kairi, Touma, and Umika, which make kaitou ("Phantom Thief"), while the Patrangers are Keichiro, Sakuya, and Tsukasa, for keisatsu ("police").
    • Western adaptation Power Rangers has had their share of this too:
      • The Dekarangers had "SPD" stamped everywhere (for Special Police Dekaranger), so the adapted season was simply Power Rangers S.P.D. (Space Patrol Delta). The Korean dub of Dekaranger was also called Power Rangers SPD, only here it meant Special Police Delta. There was also a two-parter where the villain was looking for a Series One Processor/Hyper Intelligent Encryptor, which the Rangers realized too late was referring to Sophie, a Robot Girl they just expelled.
      • The same series also had a robo-dog named R.I.C., the Robotic Interactive Canine
      • When the Power Rangers Operation Overdrive jetted around the world, they used the Special Hydro-Aero Recon Craft - aka the SHARC.
      • The title of Power Rangers RPM (the adapted version of Go-onger) wasn't explained in the show, but it stands for Racing Performance Machines. And while Prop Recycling is the norm on these shows, few were as blatant as a van unashamedly emblazoned with "GO-ONGER" on the side, explained as standing for Ground Outdoor Operational Network General-purpose Explorational Rover.
  • On That '70s Show, in an episode, Jackie becomes a SLOPP: she joins the Single Ladies Of Point Place. In another episode, Donna blurts out "Good ol' VD", but then corrects herself when she realizes it has other meaning than Valentine's Day.
    • Fez stands for Foreign Exchange Student, with the "z" being "poetic license".
  • UFO (the 1970's live-action series by the Andersons) had SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation). Its symbol was a silhouetted man casting a shadow, and was pronounced "shadow" by its members. There's also a talking radar satellite called SID (Space Intruder Detector) and of course U.F.O (pronounced "u-fo" by Commander Straker and the usual way by everyone else). If you don't know what that stands for, then you're spent the past half-century as an alien abductee in suspended animation.
  • The Ultra Series tends to use this and Gratuitous English to name its various monster-fighting organizations, such as...
    • SSSP: Science Special Search Party from the original Ultraman, though the English dub just called them the Science Patrol.
    • Averted in Ultraseven, where the organization that would have an acronym was instead just called the Ultra Garrison.
    • MAT: Monster Attack Team from Return of Ultraman.
    • TAC: Terrible-monster Attacking Crews from Ultraman Ace.
    • ZAT: Zariba of All Terrestrial from Ultraman Taro.
    • MAC: Monster Attacking Crews from Ultraman Leo.
    • SDG: Science Defense Guard from The Ultraman (aka Ultraman Joeneus).
    • UGM: Utility Government Members from Ultraman 80.
    • Averted in Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (aka Ultraman USA), where once again the team name isn't acronymed and is instead known as the Ultra Force.
    • UMA: Universal Multipurpose Agency from Ultraman: Towards the Future (aka Ultraman Great).
    • WINR: Worldwide Investigation Network Response (pronounced as Winner) from Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero (aka Ultraman Powered).
    • MYDO: Mysterious Yonder Defense Organization from the movie Ultraman Zearth.
    • GUTS: Global Unlimited Task Squad from both Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna. The latter adds Super to make S-GUTS or "Super GUTS".
    • GUARD and its branch XIG: Globalcentric Universal Alliance against the Radical Destruction and eXpanded Interceptive Guards from Ultraman Gaia.
    • HEART: Hi-tech Earth Alert and Rescue Team from Ultraman Neos.
    • EYES: Elite Young Expert Squadron from Ultraman Cosmos.
    • TLT: Terrestrial Liberation Trust (prounced "tilt") from Ultraman Nexus.
    • DASH: Defense Action Squad Heroes from Ultraman Max.
    • GUYS or Guards for UtilitY Situation from Ultraman Mebius. Which then takes it a step further with their Much Extreme Technology of Extraterrestrial ORigin equipment (METEOR).
    • UPG: Ultra Party Guardians from Ultraman Ginga S.
    • XIO and UNVER: Xeno invasion outcutters and Ultimate Noxious event Versus Earth Ranger from Ultraman X.
    • SSP and VTL: Something Search People and Versatile Tactical Leader from Ultraman Orb. (The SSP, however, is only a paranormal investigation blog and not a defense force.)
    • AIB: Alien Investigation Bureau from Ultraman Geed.
    • Averted in Ultraman R/B, which not only lacks a team acronym but is one of the few Ultraman works without any official support team at all. However, "R/B" itself is part of the name of most of the heroes' gear, and it stands for Ultramen Rosso and Blu, the series' leads.
    • EGIS: Enterprise of Guard and Investigation Services from Ultraman Taiga.
    • STORAGE: Special Tactical Operations Regimental Airborne and Ground Equipment in Ultraman Z.
  • A popular segment on Die Wochenshow that parodied shopping channels was called SHITShopping im TV.
  • Wonder Woman: In seasons 2 and 3, Diana Prince worked for the Inter-Agency Defense Command, a government agency that is never clearly defined.
  • In FTL Newsfeed there's SHIVA, the Society for Heuristic Investigation of Virtual Anomalies, and also a nerd fanclub called FLAKE: Fans of Lovecraft, Asimov, King, and Extraterrestrials.
  • In Porridge, Fletcher sets up a campaign to exonerate a fellow prisoner, "Blanco" Webb, which he names "Campaign for the Release of Old Webb", having first rejected "Campaign for the Release And Pardon of Old Webb".


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