Businesses in fiction are always a funny thing. On one hand most of us work for a company and all of us except North Koreans and Cubans buy products and services from them, so they are kind of important in our daily life and so they have to appear in our fiction too. On the other hand most writers have no goddamn idea how they work (see also “computers”). Because of this, we end up with a bunch of companies that wouldn’t last a day in the real world, or in most worlds, for that matter. Here are eight fictional companies that should have sent everyone home and closed doors years ago. Please note that while there are a few evil companies on here, we ran that list a little while ago. This is a list of incompetent companies. Many evil companies are quite smart; we’re only interested in the ones whose evilness gets in the way of making a profit.
8) Weyland-Yutani, Alien
Admittedly, Weyland Yutani’s robots are just as murderous in Prometheus, but there, robots are new and untested, and David is fresh off the assembly line… it’s excusable why nobody predicted Fassbender-bot was going to try to get everyone killed for shit and giggles. But! Let’s jump to the first Alien movie, which takes place around 30 years later, and what happens to Weyland-Yutani’s newest model robot in that movie? That’s right, he goes crazy and tries to kill everyone again. It wasn’t until Aliens that Weyland released the stop-crazy-killing patch. Weyland Yutani is a space exploration company that for at least three decades sent out spaceships with at least one serial killer robot in the crew. How did they ever explore anything and how long did it take them to figure out why most of the spaceships’ black box recordings were just screams and cussing? Say what you want about NASA, but at least no Apollo mission had to carry a bag of rabid badgers to the moon.
7) Whatever Company Scrooge McDuck Owns, Ducktales
McDuck is losing money every day thanks to a little concept called opportunity cost, which is s the cost of any activity compared with the best alternative not chosen. And since he chooses to just swim on it over doing anything else, he is losing a lot. He is losing the money he would get if he put all that amount of cash to work by investing it, or even the cash he would get by putting it in banks and gain interest. Also, that money bin doesn’t pay itself! Who knows how much it costs to protect the money bin from the Beagle Boys and various witch attacks? In fact, if he put that money to open new factories in Duckburg the economy would be better and the Beagle Boys might no longer need to commit crimes. Also, for a guy who is famously cheap, he sure doesn’t seem to mind buying a new airplane everytime he has Launchpad flying him somewhere.
6) Oceanic Air, Lost
As far as we can tell, Oceanic Air made its TV debut by crashing an airplane in an episode of the 1964 series Flipper, and they haven’t learned how to fly any better since then. Oceanic has blown up on TV, movies, comics, videogames and even British comic strip Alex. In the TV series Chuck, they were blown up by a missile. In Dead Island they crash into an island full of zombies. In Champions Online they are blown up by a magical storm. In 1996’s film Executive Decision they get hijacked by terrorists and somehow they manage to get Steven Seagal killed. Try to blame all that on the island from Lost. We don’t know how you can build an airline on top of an Indian cemetery, but these guys did it. Or maybe their captains should stop going to the Launchpad McQuack School of flying.
5) The Daily Bugle, Spider-Man
So, how the heck is a newspaper that does nothing but call Spider-Man an asshole on the first page still on business? Print is dying and these guys are printing dumb shit nobody agrees with. Imagine a newspaper with the following headline: “Heroes of 9-11, Menaces or Assholes?” EVERY DAY! See how long that one lasts. If the police were any smart they would ask for the Daily Bugle’s list of subscribers and arrest them all. The newspaper is obviously written for supervillains.
4) Network 23, Max Headroom
On the episode titled “Rakers”, crusading reporter Edison Carter is investigating a new underground sport where kids skate around and try to stab each other. During the investigation he discovers that an executive from Network 23 is trying to put this sport on TV, so the reporter tries to show the world how horrible this sport is before the executive puts it on TV and… err… shows everyone how horrible it is first hand? The thing is that even in Max Headroom’s cyberpunk dystopia making kids stab each other for fun and profit is technically illegal. The only thing the reporter manages to save is his own job by preventing the moron executive from putting on a TV show that would have gotten the evil channel closed down in a heartbeat. What was the idea? Had nothing to put between the Child Porn Fun Hour and transmitting the nuclear codes to Al Qaeda?
If the second movie killed that idea, then the third one, Resident Evil: Extinction, had its way with the idea’s corpse and gave it herpes. The entire world is infested with zombies, all the surviving Umbrella executives are living in bunkers perpetually under siege by the undead, and somehow they are still having office meetings acting like the plan is going well. So what was the plan? You can’t sell it as a weapon because governments are dead, and you can’t sell the cure because almost everybody is dead and those who are alive can’t pay you because money no longer has any meaning. At best you can save yourselves by developing a cure… or you would if you hadn’t killed the head scientist in the previous movie.
2) Misfit Records, Jem and the Holograms
Also, the Misfits are the worst bosses ever. In the episode “Journey Through Time”, the Misfit’s tech guy invents a time machine. Okay… this means the Misfits’ record label has an R&D department, which is all kinds of weird because they are a record company and not any institution that has to research anything. Moreover, this department has ravaged the laws of God and nature and invented time travel. What’s the best use the Misfits find for this groundbreaking technology? Trick the Holograms into getting lost in time so the Misfits can steal their spot on a concert instead of… winning the Nobel Prize and looking into the entire lottery winning numbers from here to eternity? To be fair, Nobel prizes are not given posthumously and keytarrists are dead inside.
1) Lunar Industries, Moon
It’s not even like the clones need five PhDs from Princeton to run the base, because Gertie does the entire job. We only see the clones do two things: Put the mined moon rocks on the device that shoots them back to Earth and drive a moon truck to pick up the rocks. And he really sucks at one of these activities, since crashing the moon-truck starts the whole movie. Okay, let’s be nice and say he is the best moon trucker ever and he only crashed because of the hallucinations caused by his decaying body approaching its three-year life limit. This brings another important point: Every three years the clone begins to hallucinate and break shit, like expensive moon mining equipment shit. This is not a sound business plan.