Fiction Business Savvy

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Oh yeah. It's the best part. It's crunchy, it's explosive, it's where the muffin breaks free of the pan and sort of (makes hand motions) does it's own thing. I'll tell you. That's a million dollar idea right there. Just sell the tops.
Elaine, Seinfeld, "Muffin Tops"

In a work of fiction, characters often come up with a great business idea that will make them rich or get that promotion. However, by using a bit of Fridge Logic, the audience may realize that this business idea is actually terrible. The idea may display a poor sense of fashion or design, or may just ignore customer psychology or economic realities.

The general dubiousness of the business idea is probably a result of the fact that if the idea was any good while still being original, then whoever came up with the idea would be a millionaire entrepreneur instead of a writer.

Examples of Fiction Business Savvy include:


  • In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, one protagonist advertising professional thinks a great new slogan for the diamond industry group is "Go frost yourself." The boss in the meeting really likes it.
  • In the second Oh, God! movie, a great slogan to get the world's population to have more faith is "Think God." And write it on a bunch of signs.
  • At the end of Other People's Money the corporate raider played by Danny Devito does a mild Heel Face Turn, by setting up a deal so that the almost defunct family corporation can use its obsolete copper cable factory to instead manufacture airbags thus saving the employees. Not sure there were any real-life analogous successful conversions in that industry during the 1980's/1990's.
  • In Big when Tom Hanks' character gets called up to the toy company's executive meeting, he impresses the boss by spearheading a new toy brainstorming session. He questions the appeal of a building transformer and instead suggests bug transformers. Another executive chimes in, "Transformers for girls!"
  • Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead has Christina Applegate's character help shape a fashion design company's new line of apparel. Even during the 1990's, the resulting outfits look ridiculous even when compared to real-life wacked-out fashion.

Live-Action TV

  • Repeatedly played straight and subverted in numerous Seinfeld episodes which have characters coming up with "ingenious" business ideas that include a beach fragrance, muffin tops, a coffee table book about coffee tables, a brassiere for men, a bladder system for oil tankers, restaurant relaunches, and more.
  • Subverted in an episode of The Simpsons when Homer designs a car for his brother's company. His brother trusts him as "the everyman." Homer designs it with a cornucopia of what he deems to be conveniences. When the car is unveiled to the public it resembles a freakish UFO on wheels. Needless to say, it was not a business success.
  • In one Gilmore Girls episode Rory and her Chilton frenemies work on school project competition for the best business plan with prototype. The group that wins is a car alarm for lockers. Rory's group doesn't do much better - bedazzled first-aid kits.