8 Fake Brands Seen in Movies and TV Shows
From Red Apple Cigarettes to Heisler Beer, Hollywood is full of fictitious "brands" that you've seen pop up in show after show, and movie after movie. Maybe you've never even noticed that they're used across the board, as filmmakers can be pretty sneaky about their placement. Sometimes it's because they truly need a generic brand, while in other cases it's just become a sort of inside joke. How many of these do you recognize?
1. RED APPLE CIGARETTES
There are plenty of directors and writers who create brands and use them across all of their movies and shows, but Red Apple Cigarettes and Big Kahuna Burger (another Quentin Tarantino staple) are some of the most famous.
- First seen in Pulp Fiction (1994), Red Apple can also be spotted in the Tokyo airport when Uma Thurman walks by an giant advertisement for the brand in Kill Bill.
- Ted (Tim Roth), the put-upon bellhop, also smokes them in Four Rooms (1995).
- A pack is tossed in the Gecko brothers' car in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), which Tarantino wrote and Robert Rodriguez directed.
- The brand makes another appearance in the Rodriguez-directed Planet Terror part of Grindhouse (2007), when the BBQ owner passes a pack to Wray (Freddy Rodríguez).
2. MORLEY CIGARETTES
Unlike Tarantino's Red Apple cigs, which appear exclusively in his own movies, Morley Cigarettes are prop smokes used across the board. Here are a few places you'll find them:
- Beverly Hills, 90210: Remember when Brenda comes home from Paris with a newfound smoking habit? The cigarettes her parents catch her with are Morleys.
- Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was loyal to the Morley brand.
- On Heroes, Claire Bennet's real mom tries to light a Morley in Sandra Bennet's house—until Sandra puts the kibosh on it.
- The American soldiers in Platoon smoke Morleys.
- Christina Ricci's character in Prozac Nation is a Morley smoker.
- The infamous Smoking Man from The X-Files smokes—you guessed it—Morleys.
3. HEISLER BEER
Heisler Beer is the barley-and-hops version of Morleys. Some notable appearances:
- In lots of My Name is Earl episodes.
- When Silas from Weeds celebrates his 18th birthday, the beverage of choice is Heisler.
- Beerfest by the Broken Lizard guys features both cans and bottles of the fictitious beer.
4. OCEANIC AIRLINES
Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Lost is surely familiar with the fictional Oceanic Airlines. But the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 aren't the only passengers to fly the friendly skies with the brand, which has been around since long before Jack and co. crashed on the Island. It's usually specifically used to depict ill-fated airlines, so the next time you spot the name at the beginning of a movie, you'll know something that the person sitting next to you doesn't.
- Part of the 1996 movie Executive Decision takes place on Oceanic Airlines Flight 343.
- In "The Bridget at Kang So Ri," an episode of JAG that aired in 2000, terrorists hijack an Oceanic Air flight.
- Oceanic is referenced in other ABC and/or J.J. Abrams project; the name has made appearances in Chuck, Fringe, and Pushing Daisies.
5. GANNON CAR RENTALS
Speaking of Lost: Gannon Car ads were featured in back-to-back episodes of Heroes and Lost, which led to a lot of speculation among fans that the two shows were somehow connected. This would have been pretty unprecedented, since the shows were on two different networks. Reps for both shows denied that the shows tied together.
- Gannon pamphlets can be found in at least four episodes of Heroes.
- Lost fans spotted Gannon advertisements on the back of the Oceanic Airlines boarding pass folders—there are also pamphlets, too, and a Gannon advertisement at a soccer game in an episode with Desmond.
Finder-Spyder is the official choice when writers need a generic search engine. Sometimes the logo looks suspiciously like Google's, and sometimes it looks nothing like it. Here's where you'll spot it:
- In at least six episodes of Prison Break, including the pilot.
- On Dexter.
- In Two Without a Trace episodes: "Baggage," where they look up a website that was left in a journal, and "Cloudy with a Chance of Gettysburg," where they look up info about Civil War reenactments.
- On Criminal Minds, when Megan Kane "Finder-Spyders" Special Agent Aaron Hotchner in the episode "Pleasure is my Business."
Mooby's, a franchise that features a tongue-in-cheek golden cow mascot, is all over Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse. Fans already know this, no doubt, but for the casual viewer, here's a reference guide:
- In Dogma, you'll see the chain all over the place: Bartleby and Loki visit the Mooby headquarters, they eat at a Mooby restaurant, Silent Bob wears a Mooby hat throughout the movie, and Rufus can be seen wearing Mooby pajamas.
- In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Silent Bob is still wearing his Mooby hat. A Mooby character gets shot during the backlot chase scene.
- Clerks II features the clerks relocating to a Mooby location after their Quick Stop burns down.
Acme is obviously associated with Looney Toons, but other shows and movies have picked up on the gag as well. The name originated because when the Yellow Pages were first introduced, tons of businesses started naming themselves "Acme" or "Ace" to get at the top of the listings. The Looney Toons's Acme and other Acme references poke fun at this (and some are referencing the Looney Toons Acme directly).
- Calvin and Hobbes often referenced Acme on the box when Calvin was making transmogrifiers and other imaginative machines.
- The Far Side used the company name in various comics, too.
- Bullwinkle once pretended to sell Acme vacuums on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
- The Simpsons makes reference on a somewhat regular basis, including during Itchy and Scratchy episodes.
- The candy factory Lucy and Ethel work at in that famous episode is the Acme Candy Factory.
- The detective agency in the Carmen Sandiego series is the ACME Detective Agency.
- The Last Action Hero references Acme products.
- Wally's Filling Station in The Andy Griffith Show sells Acme fuel.