Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Paging through the movie's press kit, I came across this quote attributed to Amy Jo Johnson, who plays Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger: "'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers™: The Movie' is a mix between 'Star Wars' and 'The Wizard of Oz'." I wonder if Amy Jo actually said "TM" when she was delivering that wonderfully fresh and spontaneous quote, which is so much more involved than anything she says in the movie."

A humorous way to make Things®© stand out is to add Random Trademark Symbols®© everywhere. May be used as a Social Commentary®© on our increasingly homogenised, commercialised World®©, but more often than not, done just because of the Rule of Funny™. They can also be used in Sarcasm Mode (perhaps in conjunction with Scare Quotes®) to passive-aggressively imply something exists only as a concept™; for example, some people refer to "Global Warming™".

For added Spice™, try adding Registered Trademark® and Copyright© Symbols®©™. (This is not actually how copyright works™.)

Compare Stuck on Band-Aid Brand for a similarly awkward attempt to acknowledge ownership of a brand, minus the Lampshade Hanging. This is done in an attempt to prevent common words (like "kleenex" or "aspirin") losing their registered trademark status because they've become the generic term in their respective fields due to widespread overuse.

Examples of Tradesnark™ include:


  • There was an Intel radio ad where this was lampshaded - one of the announcers mentioned "Intel(TM)", and the other commented, "Good use of the trademark symbol!"

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

And now Marvel has their very own Civil War™ -- do we have a ™? We are talking about trademark lawyers who once tried to put a ™ on the word Death™, so...
It started with these New Warriors® dweebs screwing up and making a bad guy named Nitro™ blow up and take a school in Stanford with him.

  • Occasionally played straight in Comic Books when someone will say the name of a character and the name appears as their logo in the Speech Bubble.

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman™!

  • More than one wag has pointed out that, for half a century, Robin® the Boy Wonder™ wore something that looked uncannily like a Registered Trademark symbol on his chest.
  • The shortlived, humorous Marvel comic What The? used this gag more than once.
  • One issue of Normalman had a field day with this. Whenever a comic-book company's lawyers get skittish about protecting their intellectual property, you'll see a flurry of issues where little ™ or ® signs appear next to the main characters' names (and, sometimes, the main characters' vehicle names, e.g. "Batmobile™"). So, in the Normalman issue in question, he put a ™ after everything.
  • The miracle plastic Boing® in Judge Dredd.
  • One issue of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac involves Johnny meeting God™.
  • One character - mentioned but not seen - in Grant Morrison's Doom Force was named TM™.
  • Howard Chaykin's American Flagg! did this a lot.

Fan Works


  • Guru Pitka of The Love Guru used these on advice-giving acronyms.
    • And on the posters for the film itself, the title has a "TM" by it.


  • Used a lot in the Thursday Next series, especially the Goliath™ Corporation ("for all you'll ever need™"), but also the Toast™ Marketing Board and others. In the Bookworld, there's the UltraWord™ story delivery system. (Earlier systems, such as BOOK 8.3 which the Bookworld returns to at the end of the novel, are not trademarked and are presumably open source).
  • Dave Barry's book Dave Barry In Cyberspace features a Running Gag of referring to Microsoft's products (especially versions of Windows®©™) with trademark symbols after the names, including one long sequence in which other bizarre symbols are put after things, such as "Windows 95BILLGATESISAWIENER."
  • Will Ferguson's Happiness™ is about a self-help book that actually works, turning people into happy zombies and making the publishing company so much money that they trademark the word "happiness".
  • The novel Feed has Clouds™ and School™.
  • One page at the end of the Principia Discordia uses a circled K (similar to that used to mark Kosher products, but in this case standing for 'Kallisti') followed by the phrase "All Rites Reversed", to indicate that it was being released into public domain.
    • Which was (alongside the Illuminatus trilogy, itself inspired by the Principia Discordia) part of the inspiration for acidhouse band The KLF (aka Kopyright Liberation Front, aka K Foundation, aka The JAMS) and some of their more controversial work.
  • "The words ScreeWee (tm), Empire (tm) and Mankind (tm) are registered trademarks of Gobi Software, Tibet." -- Terry Pratchett, Only You Can Save Mankind
  • The sequel to Daniel Suarez' Daemon, titled Freedom™
  • The Unidentified by Rae Mariz has intouch® (basically an iPhone) and notebook®. Considering the book takes place in a school in a mall owned by a corporation, consumerism is a big theme.

Live-Action TV

  • On an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Howard uses Google Street Views to find the location of the set of America's Next Top Model. He reacts, "God bless you, Google Street Views Registered Trademark!"
  • The last line of Stephen Colbert's "Another Christmas Song" is "Copyright Stephen Colbert!"
    • He occasionally adds "Trademark." after made-up words on The Colbert Report, with one note directed specifically at Fox News stating that he held the copyright on the phrase "No Fact Zone".
  • A serious employment of Trade Snark from Countdown with Keith Olbermann - In one of his Special Comments, the host refers to the way the September 11 attacks are used as a fear-mongering tactic by politicians, to the point where it is nothing more than a product used to win votes. Throughout the comment, Olbermann drives it into our minds by referring to the attacks as "9/11(tm)" over and over.
  • Jackson Stewart and Oliver Oken of Hannah Montana ended their (in)famous cheese jerky rap with "Sizzlin' Stewart & Smokin' Oken Enterprises. Patent pending." Also, Rico owns the North American rights to his catch phrases "Hey-O!" and "Muahahahaha!"


  • The Groovegrass Boyz, a country music/funk band, released Groovegrass® 101 featuring the Groovegrass Boyz™.

Professional Wrestling

  • The WWF (WWE) No Mercy manual (and probably others) had a TM symbol for every wrestler superstar mentioned in the opening blurb. As in: "Matt Hardy™ went on to fight Christian™..."
    • "All World Wrestling Entertainment programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries."
    • According to a minor wrestler just starting, the entire reason that Vince McMahon has them take face names: so he can own the name and persona.
    • Of course, the memorable backfire is of Gangrel™, a trademark of White Wolf.
      • I'd say it's more memorable that Hulk Hogan is used with permission from Marvel comics myself.
    • It appears often in other materials; the Tabletop Game 'Know Your Role' also has scattered trademark symbols on various wrestlers. It's not omnipresent, but it's likely to show up when a group are listed.
    • Hilariously, the wrestler Steve Borden actually owns the trademark for his ring name Sting. The musician of the same name has to pay Steve whenever he performs in the U.S. However, Sting the wrestler is very reasonable about it and the fee is extremely low (about $1, the last I heard).
  • In any case, trademark™ is no laughing matter in World Wrestling Entertainment® land - the league used to be named the "World Wrestling Federation" and was coerced into a rename after legal bullying by, of all people, the World Wildlife Fund®.

Tabletop Games

  • The old gamer legend that back in the day of their apparently short-lived Indiana Jones role-playing game, TSR (then-owners of D&D) actually claimed a trademark on the term "Nazi". The truth is that Indiana Jones owner Lucasfilm, not TSR, was actually trademarking the image of a specific generic Nazi character as seen here, but the truth never got in the way of a little good old-fashioned TSR hate.
  • Also used in Paranoia, with one secret society using "The Force is with us, Tee-Em" as part of its recognition symbol. And then there's the Semantics Control firms, which actively try to inflict this upon everyone in Alpha Complex (leading to much hilarity and no small number of weapons discharges).
    • Is there anything in Paranoia that doesn't lead to weapons discharges?
      • You lack the proper security clearance to access that information, Citizen. Unauthorized access to non-discharge actions is treason. Please report to your nearest HappiBrite® Termination Centre immediately.
  • Munchkin has Professor Tesla's Electrical Protective Device (pat. pending).

Video Games

  • I'm O.K - A Murder Simulator had the final boss a giant (Mario) with a trademark symbol hanging in mid air next to him at all times.
  • The Monkey Island games have them in the dialog text, but not the voice acting in the later games. Some characters seem to notice their presence even so; in Escape from Monkey Island, a lawyer complements Guybrush on "Nice use of the ™" in Melee Island™. Even Guybrush says the word "™" while he summons his wife Elaine to the Flotsam Island Courthouse in Tales of Monkey Island.
  • CCP hf is known for having patches that will be released "Soon™".
    • Not just patches. Planetary interaction, atmospheric flight, walking in stations, and numerous other promised features have been coming Soon™ for years. Even admittedly unfinished COSMOS sites have agents handing you missions with the helpful and in-depth description of "Soon™".
  • From a Have a Nice Death sequence in the VGA remake of Space Quest I:

Scott: Let's run that one again with the aid of our new How-He-Blew-It Cam (TM) and Chalkboard (TM). I have to say that carefully, Mark. Every time we mention something with a trademark or copyright, the lawyers come out to feed.

Asbestos Is Harmless!™

Lampshaded by the developers for Blizzard Dota where the game is advertised to be realeased "Soonish™"

  • Tends to be used to a ridiculous degree in a lot of Dragon Ball lisenced games: the characters in character select screens often have trademark symbols after their names. Good thing it doesn't carry over to dialogue or their lifebars...
  • The DOS game Contraption Zack, our titular hero introduces himself with

"Hey guys! How's it going? My name is Zack©™"

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner has Sbemailiarized Entertainment™ © ® LLC,,. Esq., which becomes Sbemailiarized Entertainment™ © ® LLC,,. GQ and Sbemailiarized Entertainment™ © ® LLC,,. FHM.

Web Comics

  • On the website the main comic is known as TM(tm) being a parody of this trope even though there are no actual trademarks on the name but some are pending.
  • The MS Paint Adventures home page used to take the snark approach with their notice of copyright (still legally binding), but it was revised to a more standard approach with the mid-2011 site redesign.
  • The "Techno Babble Box™" series from The Way of the Metagamer.
  • Done almost gratuitously throughout Sonichu.

Web Original

  • Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series™: "...with my all new DUEL DISK SYSTEM! ...Trademark".
  • This quote pokes fun at the Coca-Cola® Corporation.
  • In AH Dot Com the Series, Thande's all-purpose suggestion to solve any problem is "Daring Commando Raid™"
  • ScrewAttack's list of Worst Fighting Games Ever says "Batman (trademark) and Superman (trademark)" during Justice League Task Force.
  • Charlie from Charlieissocoolike does this constantly regarding the phrase "What I decided to do." He pronounces the ™ Tee Em.
  • RPGnet threads on Palladium Books get this treatment a lot, including This RPGnet forum post.
  • Retarded Animal Babies blows this out the window in episode 3. Matt Groening says that he is here to prevent RAB from out-grossing his "vastly superior Simpsons©®™©®©©®©™™©©™™™™™™ movie. (Make sure subtitles are on.)"
  • This exchange from Hellfire Commentaries' Sonic CD playthrough, describing the race against Metal Sonic:

Tom: And don't forget Robotnik is chasing you with a Death Laser™.
FTA: (laughs)
Tom: And if you get caught by that, the Death Laser--
FTA: ™.
Tom: --you will die.
FTA: ™.
Tom: Yes, I trademarked death; that's right.
FTA: ™.

Western Animation

Campers: We will always love Kamp Krusty / A registered trademark of the Krusty Korporation / All rights reserved!

  • Futurama's Momcorp apparently holds the trademarks on "screen door" and "love", among other words.
    • The Nimbus's laser cannon has a maximum power setting labeled Hyperdeath™.
  • In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, a Bat-signal appears in the air, with a "TM" quickly flying up next to it.

Real Life

  • "The expression 'Breakfast of Champions' is a registered trademark of General Mills, Inc. for use on a breakfast cereal product. The use of the identical expression as the title for Kurt Vonnegut's book is not intended to indicate an association with or sponsorship by General Mills, nor is it intended to disparage their fine products."
  • In a dismaying example, Barney's catchphrase. And the names of his friends. Super-dee-Duper™, Baby Bop™!
  • John W. Scherer, aka The Video Professor, attempted to get an Uncyclopedia® article removed for mocking his trademark "Try My Product®" (USPTO #3221013, registered 27 March 2007, cancelled 1 Nov 2013). He failed.
  • Back when UNIX was first released as a commercial product in 1983, AT&T started insisting that people refer to it as "the UNIX(tm) Operating System" or something similar to that. People on UseNet almost immediately started referring to the OS as "UN*X" as a subtle Take That, and there was even one BSD-based product called "MT XINU" whose advertising included such things as a BSD-powered X-Wing rocketing away from an AT&T logo wreathed in flames. This became less popular after AT&T sold off the UNIX group in the mid-1990s.
    • Ironically, during the late 1990s, the Open Source Unix clone Linux (you've heard of it I assume) ran into trademark trouble when a random troll named William Della Croce secured the trademark and attempted to shake down the community for usage rights. Della Croce disappeared back into the woodwork when the trademark was revoked and reassigned to Linus Torvalds himself. Around the same time, some people on Usenet and web forums started replacing "UN*X" with "*n?x", a filename pattern that matches both "Unix" and "Linux".
    • Actually, you're required to write Linux® anyway, as the name was trademarked to prevent trolls from registering the name and shaking other publishers down for "royalties" to use it. This fact is great for countertrolling Slashtards who can't help but reflexively type out "(TM) Micro$oft(TM) Whinedoze(TM)(TM)".
    • Thanks to a lot of software cross-compatibility, operating systems like Linux, BSD forks, and Mac's Mach/BSD kernel have become known as "*NIX" platforms.
  • Another Roger Ebert example, from his review of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen: "The dialog of the Autobots®, Decepticons® and Otherbots® is meaningless word flap."
  • Numerous A-list porn stars have their names (or, more accurately, their stage names) trademarked. This is disconcerting enough, but particularly weird in the case of alt-porn star Stoya, whose stage name is no more than a clipped form of her real last name.
  • Tell him that's silly to Harlan Ellison, who actually did register his name as a trademark.
  • Real estate agents in the National Association of Realtors must be called REALTORS®. Yes, with all caps.
  • And then there's Bake-Off® as a competition in various fields, originally cooking. Pillsbury® trademarked the name in the US to refer to what was its Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest since 1949.
    • That's a problem for The Great British Bake Off® (UK trade marks 2557737 and 2603787, registered 2010 and 2011) which forced the US Public Broadcasting Service to adopt a Market-Based Title for the show.
    • It's also a de-facto obstacle to the use of "bake off" in other domains, such as technical competitions for computer coding. Legal precedent already establishes that trademarks apply to very specific categories of goods or services (so Star Wars® as a Lucasfilm® flick isn't entitled to preclude hard news reports from using the term "star wars" as a derogatory label for Ronny Raygun's "Strategic Defence Initiative" from The Eighties) but the technical competitions are promoted mostly by small, university-backed non-commercial groups who can't afford real money for real lawyers to defend against Pillsbury® legal bullying.
    • And yes, this works both ways. Pillsbury® used to own Burger King® but found the name already in use in Australia. They already owned Hungry Jack® as a brand of flapjack mix, so they named the restaurants Hungry Jack's®.
  • Canada Revenue Agency trademarked the common boy's name TED®, which it uses as "transmission electronique des declarations," an "electronic-filing" (E-FILE®) system for income tax.
  • A Toronto pizza joint managed to trademark its local telephone number, 967-1111®
  • The word spam only refers to unsolicited emails. In order for it to be the canned meat product, it must be SPAM®.
  • Remember: This image has been manipulated by Adobe® Photoshop® software.
  • Just to note, the last major men's football tournament was not The World Cup, it was the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil™
  • As a Shout-Out to This Very Wiki, TV critic Jaime Weinman always adds a ™ and usually capitalizes the word Trope™ whenever he uses it.
  • Conan O'Brien had to negotiate the right to use his own name as the title of his new show, as Conan™ is owned by the Conan the Barbarian franchise.
  • "Curtis Got Slapped by a White Teacher". Not an example of actual snark, as the document seems to be genuine (though it must be seen to be believed). Ms. Bowen probably intended to trademark her son's name and her own (as if that weren't strange enough), but she has instead copyrighted them; this may result from her apparent belief, as stated in the letter's opening paragraph, that one's children are one's "intellectual property". (A perusal of the entire document, however, reveals that a discrepancy in nomenclature is the least of this woman's problems.)
  • Dave Barry parodied this in his book "In Cyberspace" when talking about Windows 95 and Microsoft.
  • Beyoncé and Jay Z decided to trademark their baby's name.
  • @ your library® is a registered trademark of the American Library Association. "The Campaign for America's Libraries can only be a success if libraries across the country-and across the world-use the trademark consistently in accordance with the following guidelines."

Tradesnark, Humorous, Things, Random, Trademark, Symbols, Commentary, Funny, World, Spice and Examples are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of TropeCo/TropeCo. in the United States and/or other countries. All rights reserved.