The plotlines of countless movies and television shows revolve around businesses managed or frequented by the main characters. These fictional companies have woven their way into the canon of pop culture, making audiences wish that they were real. We've put together a list of 10 businesses from the big and small screen that we'd love to see in real life. Would the world be a better place if these companies actually existed? Maybe not. Would the world be more awesome? Definitely.
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (Harry Potter)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Orlando in Florida has done an excellent job of bringing the famous wizard's universe to life, but this is one store we wish we could visit. Ever the practical jokers, Fred and George Weasley (brothers of Harry's best friend Ron) created numerous products for the amusement of their fellow Hogwarts students and eventually opened a joke shop with seed money provided by Harry himself. But they don't just sell illness-inducing candies and trick wands. The Weasley twins also developed useful things like Extendable Ears (great for eavesdropping) and a 10-second pimple vanisher that could benefit Muggles like us.
Wonka Industries ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory")
So what if Willy Wonka is an eccentric creep who inexplicably employs a team of tiny singing, dancing men? A factory with an endless supply of delicious chocolates and sweets is completely worth it. It might seem counterintuitive to provide more candy to an already sugar-addicted society, but having Wonka Industries around just might teach a little self-control. You wouldn't want to end up becoming a giant blueberry, would you?
Dunder Mifflin ("The Office")
Nine seasons of "The Office" gave viewers the chance to be a fly on the wall at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, a paper company staffed by quirky employees and incompetent managers, most notably Michael Scott. Although the company goes through frequent corporate transitions, they throw some great holiday parties (Diwali, anyone?), and the daily antics of Dwight and Jim are enough to make even a boring paper sales job entertaining. Even if it is technically a real-life company, it's just not the same without these characters.
Central Perk ("Friends")
Bet you won't find live music and a cozy suede couch at your local Starbucks. With a busy franchise on every corner in Manhattan, the artsy and intimate Central Perk would be a refreshing change of pace when we need a midday pick-me-up. The friends in "Friends" were seen at this coffee shop in almost every episode of the show's 10 seasons, so we're guessing it must serve a pretty good cup of joe, too.
Angel Investigations ("Angel")
Any company whose slogan is "We Help the Helpless" has to be doing something right. The leader of this supernatural detective agency is the mysterious Angel, the “vampire with a soul,” who, guided by omnipotent external powers, keeps the streets of Los Angeles safe from ill-willed vampires and other demons with his team. It would be a real comfort to know that there's a superbuff reformed creature of the night waiting to save us from evil things lurking in the shadows. We'll just ignore the part where he gets mixed up with an evil law firm and brings about the apocalypse.
Stark Industries ("Iron Man")
Wearable tech is steadily gaining popularity, but nothing in the real-world market even comes close to the Iron Man suit. We appreciate the fact that the "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" CEO nixed his company's weapons operations in favor of building a supercool remote control suit of armor, even if he was the only one who got to use it. But hey, when you're Robert Downey Jr. — er, Tony Stark — you can basically do whatever you want.
Acme Corporation ("Looney Tunes")
Many real and fictional companies have taken the name "Acme" over the years, but none of them is quite as famous (or rather, infamous) as the Acme Corporation. Of all the Looney Tunes characters, Wile E. Coyote is most associated with Acme, purchasing and using their wide range of faulty products in his attempts to catch the Road Runner. Could you make any practical purchases from this company if it were real? Sure — if you're buying for someone you hate.
Wayne Enterprises (Batman)
No list of great fictional companies would be complete without the one that created the Batmobile. The Bruce Wayne-owned conglomerate is probably best known for its industrial research and development branch (the one that makes all of Batman's sweet gear) and its charity arm, the Wayne Foundation. According to the Batman Wikia page, Wayne Enterprises also has holdings in biotech, shipping, entertainment, electronics and almost every other industry imaginable. Not bad, Batman. Not bad.
Los Pollos Hermanos ("Breaking Bad")
Some front organizations are pathetic, half-hearted attempts to look like legitimate businesses, but we have to hand it to Los Pollos Hermanos: Gus Fring knows how to run a restaurant. Aside from the shady dealings and meth connections, we're all for a fast-food chain selling chicken that's "slow cooked to perfection." We're not sure how the restaurants would fare after their owner's fate (no spoilers), but if a responsible person who isn't a drug kingpin took over, we think Los Pollos could give Colonel Sanders a run for his money.
The Bluth Company ("Arrested Development")
Following the triumphant return of "Arrested Development” on Netflix this past May, the infamous Bluth Company has re-entered the pop culture consciousness (though for true fans, it never really left). The Bluths are a veritable train wreck on every level, and perhaps that's why we'd want to see their family business in the real world. There are valuable business lessons to be learned from a corporation that defrauds its investors, mistakenly hires a company hooker and commits "light treason." A real-life Bluth Company would have the potential for an endless happy hour, though: When Lucille's around, a bottle of vodka is never far behind.
More on BusinessNewsDaily and MNN: