Weird Trade Union

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Curses! Foiled by union action!


All aspects of TV production are unionized. Thus, TV writers and directors are more familiar with the goings-on of union negotiations and politics than the average person. As a reference to the ubiquitous nature of unions in their lives, they will invent unions for unlikely occupations as throwaway gags or plot points.

Evil Minions Local 204, Mad Scientists Allied Labor Brotherhood, Dray Animals Teamsters 404, United Robot Workers, Astronaut Solidarity, International Workers of The World's Oldest Profession Local 69, etc. At any moment, the action could be interrupted by a labor strike, mandated coffee break, or possible violation of some obscure union regulation.

This is not nearly as much Truth in Television as one might think, particularly in the United States but also internationally. As seen on the other wiki, Sweden is one of the relatively few countries with a majority union workforce; Great Britain did have one before the Margaret Thatcher years, and Canada has a workforce more than a quarter unionized. At the apex of the movement in the 1950's, nearly a third of America's workers were unionized, but nowadays that number has dwindled to less than an eighth (and is dropping quickly), relegated mostly to the few remaining states with pro-union laws on the books (California and New York happen to be among them), legacy automobile plants, and the public sector (this one may change very soon).

The concept of a Super-villain union is a humorous one on several levels. One, villainy is by nature a solitary and selfish activity. Two, villains don't care about rules. And three, * This entry has been stricken under Wiki Contributor Local 303 Bylaws, Section 440 Sub 13 Para 2.* The shop steward will permit entries below, subject to the provision that management does not impose a lockout.

A Thieves' Guild and Murder, Inc. are a specific type of weird trade union, though they usually are a bigger piece of the story than most of the examples here. A Band of Brothels is one for ladies of... negotiable affection. See also Signed Up for the Dental.

In any case, the very notion of a union for people who are engaged in illegal activities is frequently played for (at least mild) laughs.

Examples of Weird Trade Unions include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, the crazily optimistic Kafuka insists that the Hikikomori student, Kiri, is a zashki-warashi (a benevolent house spirit) and that Kiri belongs to the "National Zashki-warashi Union". Kiri lives in a classroom at the school and in one instance, there's an announcement on the chalkboard in the room about a meeting of this "union".

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In The Badger comics there was a union for Hispanic Sorcerers called IBOB (the International Brotherhood Of Brujos).
  • The League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends in Scott Pilgrim. Despite the name, the league has no discrimination against gender - all evil exes are accepted. The only one who really gets any benefits from the League, though, is Gideon.
  • Marvel Comics has one of the best: the Serpent Society, made up of almost all of Marvel's snake-themed villains. In return for a cut of all their loot, they get benefits which include "guaranteed pay-scale, insurance, medical plans, pensions, greater access to tools and data and no fear of long-term imprisonment".[1]
  • Averted by force in Birds of Prey #74, when Oracle sends Black Canary and Huntress to break up an effort by Gotham's various Mooks to form a henchperson's union. As the Canary asks, "Can you imagine asking the Joker for full medical and weekends off?"
  • The Secret Society of Super Villains is basically a supervillain trade union, especially in its current incarnation as "The Society."
  • In the Flemish comic Suske en Wiske, at one point a dragon which is a servant of the Devil himself refuses to attack the heroes, claiming he is going on strike for better working conditions. He has to do it anyway, after being told he cannot go on strike without "joining the union" (of the Servants of Darkness, one assumes).
  • The Disreputable Urban Magicians and Sorcerers Union, from Stanley and His Monster, for people who are likely to be mistaken for John Constantine.

Film[edit | hide]

  • See also the extended, Kafka-esque union/guild sequence in the film The Wizard of Speed and Time.
  • As noted in the page quote: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back—the Catchphrase Spouting Duo present their union cards to gain the trust of and help from an LA dealer.
  • In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy is greeted by representatives of the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League.
  • The Three Stooges are proud members of the Amalgamated Association of Morons local 6 7/8.
  • In Grosse Pointe Blank, Dan Aykroyd's character is trying to start up a union for assassins.
  • Fritz Lang's M features a guild of beggars, although this is historically accurate.
  • Santa's elves in The Hebrew Hammer are apparently unionized. When his evil son, Damian, takes over, he lays them all off, and replaces them with children from South East Asia.
  • The Hallelujah Trail has the Irish Teamsters Union. While the Teamsters is a real union (and the name derives from when they had to manage teams of horses) their long list of labor demands pushes them well into parody territory.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld books include "Guilds" for almost all possible jobs, including Thieves, Assassins, Plumbers, Fools, Exotic Dancers, "Seamstresses" (read: prostitutes), and even Beggars, and dogs.
    • It should be noted that at points in history, there have been various legitimate "beggars' guilds". Probably where he got the idea.
      • Several of the rest of them came about because The Colour of Magic was a parody of various other authors' worlds, including and Ankh-morpork started out as a parody of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, which was the original source of the Assassins' Guilds, Thieves' Guilds, and so on that infest modern fantasy. The Lankhmar Thieves' Guild was introduced in the second of his tales of Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser, "Thieves' House", which was published in 1943, making this almost Older Than Television.
    • A recurring background element is that clothes makers and needlewomen are entirely unregulated and independent, since the seamstresses' guild isn't at all interested in sewing...
      • "They call themselves seamstresses... hem, hem!"
      • Interestingly, the fact that the "Seamstresses" Guild does not include actual seamstresses is dealt with surprisingly seriously in Feet of Clay, where miserable (and technically legal) sweatshops are depicted.
      • The Seamstresses' Guild also keeps a few actual seamstresses on hand for when people inevitably get them mixed up.
        • Which earn more than regular... seamstresses (at least in "Night Watch")
    • Mindbogglingly, The Truth mentions Ankh-Morpork's Guild of Conjurers, which seems to train stage magicians. In a fantasy world. With a university of wizards in the same city.
      • The real wizards take magic very, very seriously, and in fact sometimes draw power from "not using magic." They aren't going to be going out there using real magic to entertain people, so someone might as well do it with fake magic.
        • Word of God is that Discworlders find conjuring more interesting than magic: "Oh, look, a billiard ball's appeared out of thin air; well, that's magic for you," whereas if you know it's being done with mirrors and trapdoors by someone without any magical ability at all...
      • At one point there was also a Guild of Magicians, who actually did use magic and weren't respected very much by either side. They seem to have faded out of canon or something. It is likely to be the same as the Conjurers, as several guilds have long and convoluted names shortened for convenience.
    • When the Thieves Guild went on strike, crime rates actually went up. Turns out a lot of non-unionized criminals were just afraid of the guild enforcers.
      • Mind you, the Guild's purview is organizing crime and keeping it at a socially acceptable level; some theft is acceptable, but too much is unacceptable. Between that and the political need to keep all thieves in the union, Guild enforcers are more feared than the City Watch.
      • The Thieves Guild is more like an organized crime's protection racket. The distinction between a real protection racket and the Ankh-Morpork version is that in Ankh-Morpork, organized crime has a strong interest in maintaining the "protection" part. All but the poorest Ankh-Morpork residents pay subscription fees to the Thieves Guild so that licensed guild members won't rob them, or at least will be polite and nonviolent while doing it and not take too much. City residents who don't pay the fees are fair game for licensed thieves, and any unlicensed thieves in the city get punished brutally by the guild if they get caught. In one book it's stated that Patrician Vetinari legitimized the Thieves Guild - let them form a guild and operate openly, in exchange for controlling unlicensed theft - and he ensures that they keep up their end of the bargain because now he knows where the leaders live.
        • They actually had an actual protection racket at one point: The Guild of Firefighters.
    • The Beggars' Guild operates in a somewhat similar way. Residents of particular area or people holding a specific event, such as a wedding, can pay the Guild the fee that ensures that no beggars will show up in the vicinity. Apparently, should someone forget to pay the fee, a surprisingly large number of beggars turn up at whatever event they are holding...
      • A running joke about the Beggars' Guild is the hardship their leaders suffer, because while the ordinary rank and file can live off the pennies they receive for a cup of tea, it's beneath the dignity of a Beggars' Guild leader to ask for anything less than the price of a 10 course banquet.
      • Foul Ole Ron and the Canting Crew, the most commonly seen beggars in the series, are not guild members. They actually go into the guild to beg on occasion, with surprising success.
    • And, of course, the system reaches its logical conclusion in the form of the Guild of C.M.O.T. Dibblers, a fully licensed and legal guild intended to extend some ill-defined legality to the operations of the eponymous founder and, as far has been revealed, only member.
      • The loophole that allowed that one was filled in really quickly afterwards.
      • Another one-man Guild, the Guild of Victims, consists of one guy who serves as a stand-in for people who pay the Thieves' Guild to mug them at a specified time and place each year, thereby getting all their year's share of crimes taken care of when it's convenient. Yes, he's paid to get beaten up and robbed.
    • Urban Legend in-universe claims that there's a Rat Guild, although this is probably not true (because all the rats smart enough to found one have moved to Bad Blintz).
  • Craig Shaw Gardner's Ebenezum Trilogy has the Association for the Advancement of Mythical and Imaginary Beasts and Creatures, (AFTAOMAIBAC. Well, they think it's a catchy acronym.) which seeks equal tapestry representation for all mythical beasts (including the lesser-known ones such as the Bog Wombler.)
  • Book #26 of the Animorphs plays with this in that the entire society of the Iskoort race revolves around Weird Trade Unions. There is the Servant Guild; the Warmaker Guild; the Criminal Guild (if there were no criminals, what use would law enforcement be?); the Worker Guild; the Superstition and magic Guild; The News, Gossip, and Speculation Guild; and the Shopper Guild ("The economy cannot function without people to buy things").
  • In the world of the Wheel of Time, the city of Ebou Dar has a guild for everything. At one point, a character is advised not to give money to a beggar because he doesn't have a guild ring. That advice saved his life, as the unregistered beggar was actually an assassin.
  • Alan Gordon's Fools Guild mystery novels feature the Fools Guild, which is more of a Secret Society than a trade union. The Fools Guild ostensibly provides jesters to kings, dukes and other royalty during the time of the Crusades, but those jesters are also protectors and detectives, charged to investigate crimes, protect innocent people and influence local politics for the better. Their membership includes all of the jesters and fools that have appeared in William Shakespeare's plays (Feste, the fool from The Twelfth Night is the central character in these books).
  • The Making of a Mage by Ed Greenwood shows the creation of a prototype thieves' guild—a "gang" incorporating several existing groups and individuals. The reason behind it was the environment hard for independent thieves... and, ironically, too oppressive for normal guilds ("The master tailors had no guild because the magelords did not hold with guilds.").
  • Atlas Shrugged involves big business owners going on strike when laws become too restrictive for them.
    • The owners/management preventing employees from working is actually called a lockout.
  • In Hex and the City, some giant animated teddy bears working for an auction house complain about their working conditions and the need to get unionized. Whether they're proposing an Auction-House Workers' Union or a Giant Animated Teddy Bears' Union isn't specified.
  • In Kraken, the familiars that serve practitioners of magic are organized into a union by Wati, a socialist statue-spirit who escaped from the ancient Egyptian afterlife. The familiars go on strike for better benefits, which leads to small animals picketing in the streets of London.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Get Smart: In the episode "Strike While the Agent is Hot" Max takes over the "Spies' Guild" negotiations with the Chief, and is irked when he discovers that KAOS agents get better fringe benefits than CONTROL agents.
    • CONTROL paid better salaries, though.
  • An episode of CSI New York featured a man forming an union for costumed mascots.
  • And on an episode of Las Vegas, strippers demand better working conditions and health care benefits, virtually shutting down the city's adult entertainment industry. One group of men out for a Bachelor's Party couldn't had to resort to hiring scab strippers to give them lap dances. And reminded us that the words "scab" and "stripper" should never appear in the same sentence.
  • The Magician's Alliance that Gob is blacklisted from in Arrested Development. Not a declared Union, but fits the trope well all the same. "We demand to be taken seriously"
    • And presumably based on the Real Life Magic Circle, who have a similar goal of preventing the exposure of "magical" secrets.
    • Gob actually started the Magicians' Alliance before they kicked him out.
  • In something of a play on this, Stringer Bell in The Wire tries to get drug syndicate meetings to run according to Robert's Rules of Order (as in your classic chair meeting, with members "taking the floor", making "Points of Order" etc). Hilarity Ensues.

Bell: You ain't got the floor. Chair don't recognise yo' ass.

    • After a co-op meeting

Bell: Nigga, is you takin' notes on a criminal fuckin' conspiracy?

  • Harry Hill had a running gag about Ben Kingsley of the Clown Union interrupting the fun.
  • Series 2 of Knightmare featured Bumptious the Dwarf, whose response to everything was to try and swear the dungeoneers into his guild of miners. One episode even included an inquiry into a workplace accident. Bumptious' Northern accent was a clear reference to the former strength of the National Union of Miners in the North of England.
  • One episode of Michael Moore's The Awful Truth featured a sketch where a gang of men hired to beat up workers attempting to organise a union decide they want better treatment but when one of them says "we need a union!" the others beat him up.
  • Babylon 5 combines this with Black Comedy when Centauri Emperor Cartagia, his hands deep red with blood (but otherwise in an impeccable white uniform) starts talking about his attempts to make G'Kar scream:

"Did you know we assigned one of our best pain technicians -- 'pain technicians', they used to be called 'torturers', ever since they got organized it's 'pain technicians'..."

    • Bear in mind he says all this in a voice that can only be described as disappointed and perhaps a bit bored.
  • One episode of Pushing Daisies has a group of clowns at a circus who try to unionize.
  • There's a brief arc on Mystery Science Theater 3000 where Pearl attempts to join the Mad Scientists' Guild.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has a sketch in which the paintings in the National Gallery all go on strike.
  • One episode of Sanford and Son had Lamont and Sanford going to Hawaii to attend a "Junk Men of America" convention.
  • Discussed in Justified. A small-time punk ordered to spy on a U.S. Marhsal attempts to assassinate him, only to be wounded himself. When his boss hires a hitman to do the job right, the punk is astounded by the fact that the hitman used to spy like him, wondering if he can be a hitman one day. The hitman dismisses this, telling the punk that there's no "assassin's guild".

Music[edit | hide]

  • Somewhere between a Weird Trade Union and a Weird Secret Society is the League of British Bedsteadmen (a.k.a. the Society for Putting Broken Beadsteads into Ponds) from the Flanders and Swann song "Bedstead Men".

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Barnaby. Mr. O'Malley is a card-carrying member of the Elves, Leprechauns, Gnomes and Little Men's Chowder and Marching Society. See Characters @ Crockett Johnson Home Page
  • The werewolf parody which opens Gary Larson's book The Curse of Madam C features a member of a Doomsayer's Union warning Larson's Author Avatar about "Madame C".
  • Bloom County had Santa's elves organized into the "Professional Elves Toy-making and Craft Organization", and later a Comic Strip Characters' Union.
  • The Animated Actors in Dykes to Watch Out For are said in an early strip to form Local 428 of the Federated Sisterhood of Lesbian Comic Strip Characters.
  • An arc in a strip which ran in the U.S. military's newspaper, Stars and Stripes, in the early 1980s, involved a modern-day Confederate officer who at one point showed his membership card for the Association of Bona-Fide Southern Cartoon Characters. "Y'all will pleeze notice that's signed by Foghorn Leghorn hisse'f!" To which an audience member exclaims, "Wow! Co-signed by Deputy Dawg!"

Radio[edit | hide]

  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Professional Thinking Persons opposed using the computer Deep Thought to find the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything because, under law, the quest for Ultimate Truth was under their prerogative, and not the computer's.
    • Their protest is withdrawn once the computer points out they can be "on the gravy train, for life" by switching to debates about what answer it will come up with 7 1/2 million years later. Besides, even they probably knew on some level that a national strike by philosophers was not a particularly dire threat.
  • In one episode of Old Harrys Game, Satan's lieutenant Gary tries to usurp him, and seeks the assistance of the other demons. He gains their allegiance by promising a very union/business-like structure with working hours and perks such as better tormenting opportunities.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The Netherlands' sex workers union is called the Red Thread. They are serious about being socialist. They are also one of the powerhouses of Dutch politics, and have done valuable work on issues like workplace safety, improved public health care and law enforcement reform.
    • The International Union of Sex Workers and the International Collective of Prostitutes are other bodies campaigning for greater rights and protection for sex workers.
    • The American equivalent is called COYOTE, or Call Off Your Old, Tired Ethics.
  • The Livery Companies of the city of London are vestigial remnants of specific guilds, such as the haberdashers' or longbow-makers' or horse-doctors' unions, which industrialization and the passage of time have rendered obsolete. Today they largely exist as fraternities and/or benevolent organizations, though a few, such as the Worshipful Company of Scriveners, continue to exercise some regulatory authority over their relevant profession, while the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers is responsible for testing firearms for safe operation.
  • The Freemasons are often believed to have been this. While their history in the centuries prior to the foundation of the Grand Lodge of England is scarce and mostly unknown, a common theory is that Freemasons descend from guilds of Masons in medieval Europe. Some have disputed whether stone masons were ever organized formally into guilds, and have criticized the suggestion that Freemasonry evolved out of such organizations as a trite myth, stemming merely from the fact that the fraternity uses stone masonry as the core allegory for the organization of its symbolism.
  • One of possibly the most useless unions in Britain is the National Union of Students (NUS), which the vast majority of those attending University automatically join upon enrollment. It's not like the University students could actually go on strike if their Professors give them too much reading to do or something....
    • Well, apart from the fact that they can and do, the NUS also acts a national coordinating body between the various local unions, as a top-tier lobbyist for students, and manages a number of nation-wide campaigns in support of GLBT, female, disabled, and ethnic minority students. Nor is this a peculiarly British state of affairs; most developed countries (though notably not the United States) have a nation-wide student's union or equivalent, the British one itself being part of a pan-European Student's Union, comprising 47 unions from 37 countries, as well as a number of associate organisations.
    • And also, you know, you get a 10% discount at Topshop. And free cheeseburgers at McDonald's. And cheap cinema and gig tickets, and a load of other tracked deals. What can I say? Students love clothes and cheeseburgers.
      • The Canadian Federation of Students, apart from campaigning for tuition cuts and First Nations issues, has its own travel agency with heavy discounts for students. Go figure.
    • Unions on universities in UK (at least the one I'm attending) are also organising social activities (read mostly drinking). Also, while the students have no formal power and we obviously do not strike for such reasons, they do negotiate when there is: for example, 3 deadlines during the same weekend.
  • There have been a variety of unions of people without jobs in the last 100 years. Sri Lanka has an Unemployed Aesthetic Graduates Union containing unemployed drama school graduates.
  • There is a lobby for lobbyists.
  • There is an anti-tax group called the National Taxpayers' Union. As you might've guessed, they oppose federal union activity on the grounds that paying federal employees more will cost the government more.
  • There exist unions of rather esoteric membership which you wouldn't think should be in the same organization. For example, we have the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers (As in pulp mill employees and printing press operators) union of Canada. What exactly would those groups of employees have in common?
    • Paper helps to communicate and electricity helps to communicate. In general though weird partnerships probably come from regularly having the same opponent.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The tabletop RPG game 7th Sea has several major political factions, the largest of which is the Jennys' Guild, responsible for the welfare of sex workers across eight different countries.
    • Though the majority of their members are "professionals", they tend to claim to be a feminist organisation(in a world roughly corresponding to early Renaissance). Obviously they don't use that word, but they say they're working for all women. Of course considering that they're the largest faction and their...membership base, their top agents are the mistresses of kings and nobles.(And some supposedly have a potion of immortality.)
  • The New World of Darkness has three non-comedic examples (two official and one fanon).
    • In Genius: The Transgression we have the Union of Artifice who have started forming mad-scientist unions to provide living and laboratory space; Artificers are predominantly poor, while mad science is expensive.
      • Similarly, there's the Malcolm T. Washington , dedicated to African-American and African-Canadian Geniuses who work on oversized arthropods. Miraculously, when grant money gets involved, you can find a lot of smart, slightly crazy black guys who want to work with Big Creepy-Crawlies.
    • In Hunter: The Vigil we have the Union, a group of blue-collar monster hunters.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, the Carthian Movement is known for forming unions in whatever territory it controls.
  • Many RPG settings have guilds for wizards and/or thieves.
  • Santa's Soldiers, a game that spoofs Christmas specials, has several. The most surreal of them is the Tooth Fairy Union, populated by balding, overweight men in tutus.
  • In Fading Suns the Guilds are descendants of the corporations of the Second Republic and currently form one of the major powers in the known worlds. They include:
  • Magic: The Gathering has Ravnica, the city of guilds, with ten guilds, each dedicated to a particular two-color combination of mana. They don't all act like traditional guilds, though. While the Golgari Swarm (farmers), Izzet League (engineers / public works), and Simic Combine (fantasy equivalent of genetic engineers / medical sciences) do, there's also the Orzhov Syndicate (an evil church and source of lawyers), Boros Legion (military and police), Cult of Rakdos (nonstop party and owner of most mines and foundries), the Selesnya Conclave (Hive Mind and literal spirit of the law), the Azorius Senate (the letter of the law), the Gruul Clans (barbarians), and House Dimir (which doesn't exist and never did, but if it did exist, did so only to oppose the guildpact). Each one gets a game mechanic.
  • Unions are obviously banned in Paranoia (You're not a filthy COMMUNIST, are you?) but there are groups of weird individuals. Of course, protests require official permissions unless you want to get blasted.(Not that you have any guarantee of protection then.)

Theater[edit | hide]

  • The play Sheik, Rattle and Roll has the Forty Thieves being unionized. In a scene set in a harem they discover that the harem girls and eunuchs are also unionized, leading to an exchange of cards for the Amalgamated Thieves and Rogues Union, the Amalgamated Harem Girls and Dockers, and Amalgamated Eunuchs and Bacon Slicers (at which point every male character on stage crosses their legs. It's that kind of play).

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • A "SimCity local 703 Burglar's Union" (or something to that effect) is mentioned in the Cat Burglar Chance Card in The Sims 2.
  • Quest for Glory has a Fighters Guild, a Mages guild, and a Thieves' Guild.
    • In the first game, when you join the Thieves' Guild, you get a union card (Thieves' Guild Union, Local 1313), and the guild leader complains about the actions of "non-union members".
  • Kingdom of Loathing: The Brotherhood of the Smackdown, the League of Chef-Magi, and the department of Shadowy Arts and Crafts.
  • Total War Medieval II offers various guilds for Agents, such as an Assassin's Guild, amongst others. Very useful, as they increase the base experience of any Assassins (or other appropriate Agents, depending on the guild) trained in a city with a guildhouse. The free experience is well worth it.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The title company in Evil Inc. is a villains' union gone so far they don't actually participate in any real villainy anymore and just operate as a normal company. An arc even had the company bought out by the Legion of Justice, the Superhero union (though recently the company was restored to its original ownership).
  • In El Goonish Shive, the Distraction Union which the Demonic Duck belongs to.
  • In Narbonic, the Henchmen's Union led by Titus Misanthropie; also, the Guild of Killer Robots, formed when Artie organized the Madbots to go on strike against their creator.
  • Dungeons & Dragons adventurers in the Nodwick webcomic get their henchmen from the Henchmen's Union. Amongst their bylaws is one stating that they're not allowed to pass on unless there's no chance of their employers being able to cough up a resurrection spell.
    • Ralph, the toad from Yamara has mentioned his membership in a Familiars' Guild.
  • This Skin Horse strip reveals the existence of a union for shadow-government employees. And another one for office supplies.
  • The slave drivers union in Order of the Stick
  • In Trigger Star, Hash belongs to the Offensive Ethnic Stereotypes Union (African-American chapter).
    • He can actually be kicked out for displaying evidence that he's got an actual personality.
  • Bob and George Author's union rules
  • Averted in Sinfest. While Monique tried to Unionize the succubi, here, the results weren't very productive. Some days you just can't make a Deal with the Devil.
  • Rumors of War: The Order of Orion is an adventurer's/explorer's/mining/entrepreneur's guild in a time when people still thought the sun was a chariot driven across the sky by a god. So yeah.
  • In Misfile Angelic Union rules mean the files that contain human lives must be periodically removed, read, then replaced.
  • Similar to Evil, Inc., Sidekick Girl has the Superhero Agency and its unnamed Evil Counterpart.
  • Chopping Block has "Psychos Local 616" union meeting on March 29, 2001.
  • Unshelved: Buddy is a member of Funny Animal Workers 505. "You should see our main office in Orlando!"

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Venture Brothers: The Guild of Calamitous Intent is apparently an omnipotent conspiracy/trade union for all the villains seeking to conquer the world. Its regulations cover all manner of supervillainy, from deathtraps to dealing with police. They also provide services to heroes by matching them with appropriate and licensed villains. They do however set up strict rules for both good-guys protagonists and bad-guys antagonists to follow.
    • We eventually find out that the O.S.I. is supposed to handle other hero-related activities. Previously, their 'official' enemy was the Cobra-esque organization S.P.H.I.N.X. In the present time S.P.H.I.N.X. has disbanded and the O.S.I.'s official rival is now the Guild. Now that the Guild is public once again, O.S.I. is a support organization for protagonists, but they avert most of the other union characteristics.
  • The Martian Commander's robot drones suddenly go on strike halfway through an episode of Duck Dodgers.
  • On The Simpsons, Homer is a member of the International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers, Pastry Chefs, and Nuclear Technicians. He was also the Chosen One for the Stone Cutters, a secretive organization parodying the Freemasons, whose members have access to the real emergency number (which is 912 instead of the 911 that the rest of us have to use).
    • There are also examples of absurdly specific unions where one would normally expect their members to be a part of a larger more general union covering people in their line of work. Examples include: The Association of Newsroom Cue-Card Holders, the Piano Tuners Local 412, the Springfield Goat Milkers, and The Association of Theme Park Zombies.
      • Don't forget the 'Sack Stuffers Local 199'
  • In the Screwy Squirrel cartoon Lonesome Lenny, a chase between Screwy and Lenny is briefly and abruptly interrupted when the two stop to take a lunch break. As Screwy remarks, "Strong union."
    • Daffy Duck uses the same line in Quack Shot, after Elmer Fudd catches a small fish and a large fish emerges from the water to tell him, "You catch one more fish and you're in trouble!"
  • On The Ren and Stimpy Show, Stimpy walks out when the Sidekicks union calls a strike. Ren auditions scabs to replace him... from a scab union.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has the Evil League of Evil for the supervillains, a Henchman's Union for, well, henchmen, and the Council of Champions for the superheroes.
  • Ask a Ninja: Ninjas don't employ rabid squirrels because they're unionized and too expensive. Unfortunately, zombie chipmunks have proven to be a poor substitute.
  1. Captain America (comics) vol. 1 310 (October, 1985)