Movie inspiration: fashion inspired by pitch perfect

movie inspiration: fashion inspired by pitch perfect

"The revolution will be merchandised!"

The situation where a work of fiction creates or affects — whether positively or negatively — Real Life demand for a certain product, good, or service. This can lead to defictionalization, where things only start being made due to demand for fictional things. It's not Product Placement, as it's usually unintentional; the fact that the product doesn't even exist might even owe itself to the use of Brand X or similar tropes — i.e. the avoidance of product placement. Its effect is often exaggerated, though. The effects of this trope are often temporary; a permanent decline or increase in demand is usually an Urban Legend. It's also important to remember that correlation doesn't imply causation — although given the number of examples listed below, there must be a lot of interesting coincidences out there. Most of the time, the effect is positive, even when the product is portrayed negatively; advertisers call this the "Homer Simpson effect". The trope is named after the red Swingline stapler prominently featured in Office Space. Swingline didn't make full-size red staplers; the one in the film was a black stapler painted red. Then life would imitate art, as people demanded a red version, and they got one. Outside the U.S., this trope has other names, too. Cooking shows are particularly prone to this: the U.K. sometimes calls this the "Delia Effect", after high-profile Cooking Show host Delia Smith, to the point that her publishers will let the shops know in advance what she's about to recommend. Australia calls it the "Masterchef Effect" for similar reasons. Defictionalization is when the demanded product comes into existence because of this trope, largely as tie-in merchandise to the show that spawned it. Shows which are trying deliberately to evoke this reaction are Merchandise-Driven. If a work increases demand for another work, that's the Colbert Bump; if it changes demand for a song, that's Revival by Commercialization. The opposite of this trope is Aluminum Christmas Trees, where something real but outlandish is shown in fiction and people think it must be fictional.

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  • In the 90's, Gap made a commercial for Khaki pants showing people dancing the lindy hop. The commercial did a better job of making people all over the USA start signing up for lindy hop lessons than making them buy the pants.
  • A rather sweet old advert for the Yellow Pages featured an old man looking for a book called "Fly Fishing" by J. R. Hartley. The ad proved so popular that the book was later written and published.
  • A 2002 ad for BT communications featured a rather special telephone. The public went crazy for it.
  • The grim nature of Puella Magi Madoka Magica was rather offset by some of the commercials that appeared during the breaks. The Morning Rescue advert, in particular, caught the eyes of fansubbers, to the extent that one group began editing it into episodes where it had not originally appeared. Demand for the drink shot up due to curious Westerners who, having witnessed the Memetic Mutation in progress, wanted to try it for themselves; as a result, J-List began stocking Morning Rescue in their online store.
  • Some Target advertisements had people wearing clothes with the Target logo on them; demand was such that Target wound up making them for real.
  • Volkswagen had a print ad for the Polo which showed a car with every part a different color (red doors, yellow hood, blue roof, etc.). Enough people requested a car like that that VW made the Polo Harlekin.
  • Paint brand Dulux started using the Old English Sheepdog as its mascot in the 1960's. Right up to the present day, the adverts have done at least as much for sales of the dogs as it has the paint.
  • A commercial from the Dutch insurance company OHRA (in which a mother and her daughter try to pick up their purple inflatable crocodile at the lost and found of a swimming pool, but are met with severe bureaucracy) led to a huge demand for purple inflatable crocodiles, which until then only came in the color green. It also led to the phrase "purple crocodile" becoming a metaphor for obstructive bureaucracy.
  • The US National Dairy Council once put out a series of advertisements showing cows sabotaging the marketing campaigns of a company called Big Fizz Soda, replacing their ads with ads for milk. Of course, nobody involved with the campaign thought to actually trademark the name Big Fizz Soda, so a soda company did so and promptly started selling their products under that name. Big Fizz Soda can still be found in drugstores and independent supermarkets.

    Anime and Manga 

  • The manga Kami no Shizuku (The Drops of God) is an incredibly powerful example of this trope. Thanks to the miracle of Internet wine ordering, thousands of Japanese people are treated to a charismatic character's opinion of a specific wine on his quest to find seven specific varieties, and can then go and order those very wines and taste them for themselves. This has caused quite a stir in the world's wine industries.
  • K-On! did this with the characters' instruments, particularly Fender. For instance, Mio's Fender Jazz Bass is now popularly demanded in real life — even though the original is left-handed and the defictionalized ones are mostly stringed for right-handed use. The one main exception is Gibson guitars, mostly because they're hideously expensive (the Les Paul that Yui plays starts at around 00 USD) and aren't available in Japan, although Les Paul clones are popping up marketed with the show's imagery.
  • Lucky Star:
    • The town of Washimiya, Saitama, Japan experienced a massive surge in tourism thanks to Lucky Star, as the Hiiragi family shrine is based on the local Washinomiya shrine. It has since become a pilgrimage site for otaku of all ages, with many prayer plaques featuring weird prayers asking Konata to be their wife.
    • The show also re-popularised anime merchandise and conventions. There has even been talk in the city council to make the local high school dress code match the one seen in the series. In turn, the girls became official honour residents of the city.
  • On August 1st, the day the original Digi Destined first went to the Digital World, Digimon fans meet up in Dai-san Daiba park in Odaiba. Many western Digimon fans will make a point to visit Odaiba when visiting Japan as well.
  • The Hikawa Shrine from Sailor Moon also exists in real life (although real life has two Hikawa Shrines, and the first anime moved one to the location of the other). It's also a tourist spot for fans. Crown Game Center also used to exist but has since gone out of business and been replaced by a McDonalds.
  • The classical-music industry in the Asia-Pacific region has reasons to thank Nodame Cantabile.
  • Gintama apparently did this to wooden swords. it also helps that they were already ubiquitous in tourist shops and can't really be used as weapons (which means you can take them through customs more easily).
  • The popularity of the 1977 anime Rascal the Raccoon was single-handedly responsible for the introduction of feral raccoons in Japan. Up to 1500 raccoons were imported as pets, but now the descendants of abandoned or escaped raccoons live wild in 42 of Japan's 47 prefectures.
  • Enoshima, an island off the coast of Kamakura, is a favorite destination among otakus, since it is featured prominently in several popular shows, such as Elfen Lied, Aoi Hana and Uta Kata.
  • Initial D:
    • This manga popularized the Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno/Corolla GT-S by virtue of its protagonist beating seemingly much cooler cars with one on a regular basis, simply with raw driving skill.
    • The real life touge courses in the anime have become immortalized in real life as well. Mount Haruna (which is what Mount Akina is based on) often gets many visitors in the Gunma area, and the real tofu shop also gained popularity before it was torn down.
  • Houkago No Pleiades is a lesser example, with Subaru cars.
  • Cuenca, Spain has seen a noticeable increase in Japanese tourism since being featured in Sound of the Sky.
  • Similarly, Heidi, Girl of the Alps has drawn thousands of Japanese pilgrims to the Swiss Alps. St. Bernard dogs, in particular, are very popular because of the dog Joseph, who doesn't appear in the original novel.
  • Clarice's Fairytale Wedding Dress in The Castle of Cagliostro. Former Princess Sayaka of Japan liked it so much that she had a real-world one made for her wedding dress.
  • Sports manga and anime, if they're successful, can create interest in that sport and cause many fans to take it up themselves — not just in Japan, but around the world. Among those manga and anime:
    • Captain Tsubasa tremendously helped the development of soccer as a whole in Japan. It spurred the creation of the national pro league JFA and thrust the sport from obscurity to the second-most played sport in the country.
    • Attack No. 1 and Attacker You! did this for volleyball.
    • Hikaru no Go wound up tripling the number of Go players in the world.
    • Chihayafuru did this for Karuta.
    • Summer Wars did this for Hanafuda.
    • Anime/Saki did this for Reach Mahjong (Japanese Mahjong).
    • Slam Dunk was a smash hit in not just Japan, but also the Philippines and Korea. The manga was even credited by the Japanese Basketball Association for popularizing the sport in Asia, especially since a lot of the players in the Japanese league grew up reading it.
    • While not as popular as the above examples, the writer of Rin! said that she received a lot of mail from fans saying they had taken up archery after reading the series.
  • The town of Takehara's popularity has risen quite a bit since it has been featured in Tamayura, and the town's inhabitants appear to be very proud of that fact. Restaurants and shops advertise with posters from the show (especially the ones actually used as scenery), and one of the local ferries even sports huge posters of the show's main heroines. The announced TV series might raise the town's popularity to even greater heights.
  • Hamtaro made kids want to get a pet hamster of their own.
  • Tiger & Bunny's entirely unexpected popularity in Japan has led to the spike in sales for items only tangentially related to the show. The most notable was a brand of cologne that resembled a bottle the main character, Kotetsu, owned. It was apparently of utmost importance to 2ch and /a/ to know what he smelled like.◊ Sunrise noticed and decided that they'd start selling Kotetsu's oft-replicated Nice Hat.
  • The city of Kamogawa hopes their tourism gets a boost with their being the main city in Rinne no Lagrange.
  • The town of Oorai enjoys this due to the success of Girls und Panzer. The real life annual Anglerfish festival saw a huge spike in attendees the year after the anime debuted.
  • As part of their 30th Anniversary for the Gundam franchise, Sunrise commissioned a project to build an actual 1:1 scale 60ft tall statue of the show's flagship machine, RX-78-2 Gundam. Downplayed in that unlike its fictional counterpart, the statue can't move due to the Square/Cube Law making it infeasible and maybe impossible, but Sunrise has stated they would like to eventually "upgrade" the statue to be moving.
  • Steins;Gate features the soft drink of Dr. Pepper prominently, although it calls it Dk. Pepper instead, probably because of lack of sponsorship agreement. Nevertheless, this anime series boosted up the sales of Dr. Pepper considerably in Japan.
  • Lots of anime fans start learning the Japanese language, to the point where anime and manga fans make up some 60 percent of Japanese language classes. This actually causes an issue in that especially older animes and mangas, even if they seem mature of American audiences, were made for a younger demographic in Japan. As a result, many fans who use anime as a basis for learning Japanese can come off sounding extremely odd to native Japanese speakers, since they will sound like they are imitating Japanese teenagers or grade-schoolers.
  • Sakamichi No Apollon has caused many people to get into jazz.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: Chanel lip balm increased in sales after being used by Victor on Yuuri in Episode 5.
  • Your Name: Itomori's Real Life inspiration, Hida City, Gifu Prefecture, has seen millions in tourist revenue from visiting fans.

    Baby Names 

One of the most common manifestations of this trope is for baby names; prospective parents will often get ideas from works that are popular around that time. But because this trope relies so much on trends, this runs the risk of the kid's name becoming embarrassingly dated. And sometimes, the opposite happens, when an already common baby name's popularity drops due to being associated with a character in the media.
  • "Madison" as a first name was almost nonexistent when the movie Splash was made, and was mostly a boy's name when it did appear. Then after the film's mermaid picked up the name, it exploded in popularity as a girl's name, reaching the top ten in girls' names in the U.S. in 1997, staying there over a decade and a half, even reaching second for two years. (It dropped to eleventh in 2015.) But what's particularly Hilarious in Hindsight is that in the film itself, it was a Line-of-Sight Name taken from a street sign; Tom Hanks' character's immediate reaction is "That's not a name!"
    • See the Urban Dictionary's characterization of a "Madison" as a surprising secondary consequence of the name's popularity.
    • Madison was in the top 1000 boys' names during the first half of the 20th Century, before vanishing from the radar. It reappeared as a boys' name after Splash was released, and even reached its prior levels of popularity, before vanishing again from the radar at the turn of the millennium. As a boys' name, it never attained the explosive popularity that it did as a girls' name.
  • The name "Kayleigh" was popularized in the U.K. after it appeared in a 1985 hit single of the same name by the British Progressive Rock band Marillion; the name itself was derived from "Kay Lee", an ex-girlfriend of singer Derek "Fish" Dick.
  • Millions of baby girls were named Alice after the success of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
  • J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan popularized the name Wendy so much after its release, that he is often erroneously credited with inventing the name. It's really a very obscure nickname for Gwendolyn.
  • Since the 1960s, naming your child after a character from J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings has been something of a trend for aging hippies, nerds, and passively sadist parents. "Galadriel" has been in the US popular name list since 1969.
  • Scottish poet James MacPherson (1736–96) invented the name Fiona.
  • The Polish/Lithuanian name "Grażyna" was invented by the poet Adam Mickiewicz for his narrative poem Grażyna, A Lithuanian story. It's derived from the Lithuanian word graži, meaning "beautiful", and it was widespread in Poland up until around the 1980s.
  • "Shirley" was an uncommon and exclusively masculine name until Charlotte Brontë's novel Shirley was published in 1849. The eponymous character is an independent heiress, and her name is intended to be a Tomboyish Name, being what her parents would have named a boy had they got one like they wanted. It would stay primarily a (rather rare) boy's name until Shirley Temple became famous. Then it became a popular girl's name, reaching No. 1 in popularity in 1935. Male Shirleys are now thin on the ground.
  • The name "Pamela" was invented for a book, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. This generated one of the first entertainment marketing booms, with Pamela towels, dishes, playing cards, stationery, etc. In 1740.
  • "Adolf/Adolph" was already a respectable and popular boy's name when it became big in the thirties, when most Germans still liked Adolf Hitler. Then after the war, it rapidly fell into decline (along with his trademark facial hair). Many little Adolphs born around then would have rough childhoods, and Germany even allowed people named Adolph to circumvent otherwise tight regulation and change their names if they wanted. One famous "Adolf" born in this period was Adolf Dassler, who spun his name into the name of his company, Adidas.
  • The popularity of "Katrina" as a name for baby girls increased slightly after the 2005 storm, possibly due to the name being endlessly repeated in the media, possibly as a statistical blip. The following years saw Katrina fall rapidly in popularity.
  • In 2000, Sonny Sandoval, the frontman of P.O.D. and a born-again Christian, gave his daughter the unusual name of Nevaeh, which is "heaven" spelled backwards. By 2007, Nevaeh had become the 31st most popular name for baby girls in the United States, with most of this popularity coming from evangelical Christian parents. A few years later, more parents, apparently having heard the name but not knowing its derivation, or being appallingly lax in spell-checking birth certificate forms, began naming their daughters "Neveah".
  • After The Omen (1976) came out, the name Damien experienced a slight decline in popularity, but it did get a one-day spike among children born on June 6, 2006 — which, not coincidentally, was also the release date of the remake.
  • In 1918, Italian general Armando Diaz signed the Victory Address, a short document meant to inform the population of the victory against Austria in World War I. It was shown in schools, barracks, and town halls, and many children were required to memorize it. The Address ended with the words "firmato: Diaz" (signed: Diaz), which led many to think that "firmato" ("signed") was his name. In the following years, many children were baptized with that name.
  • French Space Opera comic-book Valerian invented the name Laureline for the female protagonist. It is not an unheard name for French women today.
  • The names "Isabella", "Edward" and "Jacob" were popular before Twilight was published. Still, they saw a significant boost, as did "Renesmee". Despite being invented by Stephenie Meyer, in 2010 fifty-five baby girls in the US were given that name in real life. As a RiffTrax Live! event once put it: "The most popular baby names for 2009 were Bella and Jacob. For Shame."
  • In the 1980s, the names Crystalnote in a variety of invented spellings, like the show's own "Krystle", Alexis, and Dominiquenote in America at least, as it has long been common in France became popular for girls thanks to the Rich Bitches of Dynasty.
  • The name "Emma" exploded in popularity after Rachel of Friends gave the name to her daughter. It also jumped (from thirteenth to fourth place) upon the release of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone with Emma Watson.
  • From Sex and the City, Carrie's rugged puppy Aidan seems to have inspired a resurgence in that name (and its variant Aiden).
  • Family Ties led to "Mallory" being a popular girls' name, even though it was almost completely non-existent prior to the show (and was basically a last name adopted into a first name). Unlike "Madison", which came about under similar circumstances, "Mallory" died out quickly after the show ended.
  • Zig-zagged with "Mercedes", for English-speaking countries. It was a girl's name first, a Spanish title for the Virgin Mary, "Our Lady of Mercy". The luxury car manufacturer was named after the eldest daughter of one of its dealers/directors, Emil Jellinek. However, its use nowadays is more likely to be inspired by the glamorous connotations from the car company rather than the religious figure.
  • "Jennifer":
    • The name was originally an obscure Cornish variant of "Guinevere", but it became hugely popular in the United Kingdom after George Bernard Shaw gave it to the female lead in his 1906 play The Doctor's Dilemma. It received a further boost with the release of Love Story, becoming the single most common female given name in the United States for the years 1970-1984, where it had previously been relatively uncommon.
    • Then it happened in Spanish. Love Story (and the many works that followed it) briefly made Jennifer a popular name in Spain, where it didn't exist in any form, and where before Franco's death, it was extremely discouraged to use non-standard (read: non-Catholic) names. It got so prevalent that for a while the easiest way to depict a woman as the Spanish equivalent of trailer trash was to have her calling her daughter "Jennifer" in a loud and heavily accented voice ("CHÉNIFEEEEEEE").
  • Castiel was the fasting growing name for boys in 2010. Sookie was for the girls.
  • The Obamas caused this in 2009. The name Maliyah (Malia is Obama's daughter's name) was the fastest growing name in popularity in 2009, and the name Sasha (his other daughter's name) also jumped in popularity.
  • While the boy's name Kevin had become quite popular in Germany the years before, it reached its peak as the most common name in 1991 after the release of Home Alone and stayed very high in popularity for about 10 more years. Unfortunately the popularity was mostly restricted to the Unterschicht, which is the German equivalent of white trash, and the name became the stereotypical name for all kids of such a background. The exact same thing happened in France. This is an awkward case of Values Dissonance, since in the Anglosphere it's just an ordinary name with no connotations one way or the other.
  • Baby name databases don't seem to have any data for the name Tevin before 1990, but it peaks in popularity in 1992 (top 200). In between those two years, an R&B singer named Tevin Campbell had released his debut album and scored several hits off it, and his popularity resulted in many baby boys being given his uncommon first name.
  • The name "Svetlana" was invented by a Russian poet and popularized by another in the early 1800s. It's still hugely popular today, both in Russia and outside it, and is even used as the Russian translation of a Greek saint's name. "Svetlana" wasn't a nonsense word, though; "svet" means light, and it's a little like naming your daughter "Radiance" or something. The closest English equivalent would be Helen.
  • The Australian singer/guitar player John Williamson created a song about a tomboy whose father nicknamed her Cydy (short for sidekick). It is now an official (if still mostly uncommon) Australian girl name.
  • The name "Osama" became very popular in some parts of the Muslim world in late 2001 and for several years thereafter. In other parts, its popularity went down. And in still other parts nothing changed, because "Osama" is actually a pretty common name in many Muslim countries — it's traditional and has a long history (it's one of several Arabic names meaning "lion").
  • The name "Amelia" has experienced a recent surge in popularity, coming as high as #1 in the U.K. and #12 in the U.S. for girls. The reason seems to be one character: Doctor Who's Amelia Jessica "Amy" Pond.
  • The popularity of the series Game of Thrones led to many baby girls named "Arya" and "Khaleesi". Funny that the latter is actually a title for Daenerys Targaryen, not a proper name in the series itself.
  • Prior to the rise of pop culture, the best way to get people to name your kids after you was to conquer them. As an example, prior to 1066, nearly everyone in England had solid Old English names like Edwin, Edgar or Athelstan. Once William the Conqueror made the aristocracy Norman French, things changed, and soon nearly everyone was called William, Richard, Robert, Henry or Hugh. Ironically, because the Normans were originally Vikings (hence "Nor(se)man") all five of those names are of Germanic origin.
  • Thanks to the popularity of Frozen, and Elsa in particular, Elsa's name broke into the Top 100 names for baby girls in the UK.
  • The name Dylan experienced a surge in popularity during the run of Beverly Hills 90210.
  • The Brazilian Soap Opera Escrava Isaura was extremely popular in Poland, and caused a number of young girls to be named Isaura.
  • The book and films of Lolita allegedly killed Lolita as a first name. While that may have ultimately been the case two decades after the novel's publication, Lolita was already at its depths of popularity at the time of publication. The 1962 Stanley Kubrick film coincided with a burst in popularity of the name to levels never before attained, although not very high. In Lolita itself, the girl is actually named Dolores, variously nicknamed Dolly, Lo or Lola, and Lolita was Humbert's (who was Nabokov's idea of the complete pseudo-intellectual) "fancy" nickname for her. Because of the Meaningful Name, it's still popular in Spanish.
  • Downplayed by the name Cordelia but Charisma Carpenter - who played Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel - has said that numerous fans tell her they named their daughters Cordelia after her. The name had declined in popularity after the 1800s, and the show gave it a small resurgence.
  • R&B singer Aaliyah caused the name Aaliyah to suddenly explode in popularity in the mid-90s - along with its many variations. The name had originated in the Middle East (deriving from the Arabic `Alīyā', which is, roughly, the feminine form of `Alī and means "elevated," "exalted," or "noble"note Meaning that you could legitimately translate the name "Aaliyah" as "Augusta," but let's not get ahead of ourselves...) but became more associated in the African American and Latino communities after the popularity of the singer.
  • The Backstreet Boys popularity in Mexico caused many boys around that time to be named Kevin or Brian (often spelled as "Brayan"). Nowdays, those names in Mexico are often associated with lower-class and trashy people whose American names are completely unfitting.

    Comic Books 

  • The German comic Werner heavily featured the beer from the then-small Flensburger brewery, which was obscure even in its home in northern Germany. It was known for being among the last few German beer brands sold in swing-top bottles. Then, when the comic popularized the brand, it got so popular in Germany that the brewery had trouble keeping up demand. Then Werner made his own beer in the sixth book, which would be Defictionalized (and stopped the free advertising for Flensburger).
  • Admit it, you've wanted a "Fuck Communism" Zippo ever since you saw on in Preacher. Well, it may not be licensed, but here you go.
  • The Transformers Wiki calls it the Bludgeon Effect: the franchise has many more toys created than there are characters in the TV show, so that means the Expanded Universe has a big source of new characters that still feel authentic. The name refers to Bludgeon, a relatively minor character who became Decepticon leader late in the Marvel Comics run and stayed a prominent character in subsequent series — much more so than his unpopular toy line would even have indicated. This most commonly happens to characters the IDW comics use to good effect; their toys' value online will skyrocket. The biggest beneficiary of this was not Bludgeon, but Ironfist, a character who had never been used in a story until a single appearance in an IDW comic and a Fun Publications comic. Good luck getting your hands on an intact version for less than 0.

    Films — Animated 

  • The Toy Story movies created a huge demand for many of the toys it featured.
    • It raised demand for simple plastic green army men so much that several companies started cashing in on it with video games and such.
    • Barbie dolls also got a boost from the second film, although Mattel's paranoia almost prevented this from happening. Pixar had wanted to use Barbie in the first movie, but Mattel said no, objecting to her being used as a Sarah Connor-esque badass. Then Mattel saw how the toys the movie did feature got a sales boost (particularly Mr. Potato Head), and they were only too happy to see Barbie used in the second and third movies (with something of a compromise in personality).
    • The Slinky company had previously taken the Slinky Dog off the market years before Toy Story. They brought it back in a modified version because of the movie.
  • While declining sales caused the last of the creameries which manufacture the centuries-old Wensleydale cheese to teeter on the edge of closure in the early '90s, Wensleydale received a chance mention in the popular Wallace & Gromit shorts. Noticing the increased interest, the creamery persuaded Aardman Animations to endorse a Wallace & Gromit-branded cheese, which worked to rebuild Wensleydale into a thriving product worldwide. The Stinking Bishop cheese is also featured in a plot-critical moment in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; sales of this niche culinary product rose by 500% after the film was released.
  • Ever since Despicable Me came out, real life carnival booths stocking real life Fluffy Unicorns have become a common sight.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • This trope is named after the red Swingline stapler in Office Space. As the DVD commentary mentions, the one in the movie was specially painted, since at the time the movie was produced, the company didn't make red office staplers, only black ones (although they had been making red mini staplers for decades). Due to the popularity of the movie, they do now.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The series was largely responsible for a colossal increase in the interest and popularity of dinosaurs. It led to the creation of books, toys, documentaries, clothing, an NBA team name, you name it— it showed the world that Everything's Better with Dinosaurs. It gets a boost every time a sequel comes out as well, as shown with Jurassic World.
    • The movie's popularity quadrupled the international price of amber. It also popularized fake amber with insects in it, which usually comes from China, is sold on auction sites, and outrages precious stone sellers everywhere.
  • Sales of the Dodge Ram pickup nearly doubled in 1996 thanks to a red model being featured as the hero vehicle in the film Twister. While Chrysler sold 280,000 Rams in 1995, sales skyrocketed in 1996 to nearly 400,000 units and stayed at that level through 1999. Even after that, though, the Ram remained popular enough for Chrysler to spin it off from Dodge into its own make.
  • Sometimes guns are popularized because of their use in fiction.
    • Dirty Harry caused sales of Smith & Wesson's Model 29, the famous.44 Magnum that Harry Callahan used in the movie, to skyrocket. The ensuing popularity drove prices into orbit, where they would stay — it became nigh impossible for real gun enthusiasts to get their hands on one. It's also a very heavy gun and probably not the best choice for a casual enthusiast anyway.
    • The HK USP Match, Lara's weapons of choice in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, became a very popular pistol for a time — so much so that even airsoft copies were selling for upwards of a thousand dollars (which, for context, could get you a real USP).
    • The Beretta 92F got a boost in the 1980s thanks to its prominent use by the leads of films such asDie Hard and Lethal Weapon.
    • In Death Wish 3, Charles Bronson's character used the Wildey Magnum, a semi-automatic pistol that fires rounds so powerful it rivals the Desert Eagle in muzzle energy. The company that makes the firearm was struggling at the time, and was close to bankruptcy. The movie single-handedly increased the sales of the Wildey Magnum and rescued the company. It also counts as a Celebrity Endorsement, as it was Charles Bronson's personal pistol.
    • The Desert Eagle was a semi-automatic pistol built by 3 guys who thought it would be cool to fire.357 and.44 Magnum-caliber rounds in a semi-auto. It started becoming the go-to weapon for fictional badasses in The '80s, most notably Arnold Schwarzenegger, starting with Commando. Today, the gun is hugely popular, which leads to Hype Backlash and angry gun enthusiasts.
    • The Barrett series of sniper rifles was originally created by a single guy as a dare to create a.50 BMG rifle. The Model 82 went on to be another badass Weapon of Choice, it became as popular as the Desert Eagle, and it also went into service with multiple militaries as an anti-materiel rifle.
    • The SPAS-12 is an awesome-looking shotgun capable of both semi-automatic fire and being operated by a pump. People who see those in fiction are often disappointed to find out that they were banned from import into the U.S. from 1994 to 2004 (meaning only those imported before 1994 made it onto the market) and production ceased in 2000, making them fairly rare. Their spotty reputation as far as reliability goes and excessive weight don't help much either.
    • Despite being an outdated 80 year old design chambered for the rather anemic.32 ACP round, the Walther PPK (or more specifically, its import-legal variant, the.380 PPK/S) still enjoys impressive sales numbers thanks to its association with an iconic British spy. Walther's more recent P99 line also saw an uptick in sales after Pierce Brosnan took over the role and Walther asked for Bond to carry what was their then-newest weapon.
  • Discussed in Jackie Brown, where Arms Dealer Ordell Robbie tells his friend Louis that most of his sales are driven by which weapons are wielded on TV or in the movies. Specifically, he notes that the Steyr AUG assault rifle is a good weapon, but there's no demand for it because it's never been in a movienote Although he'd be wrong about that, while The Killer caused a spike in demand for.45 pistols (which he considers substandard compared to the 9mm). Proving his point, he then proceeds to take a phone call from a customer who wants a specific make and model of the 9mm, because it's the kind that the protagonist on New York Undercover uses.
  • Kick-Ass: Because of the popularity of Hit-Girl and her mention of the Benchmade 42 balisong/butterfly knife, combined with the fact that Benchmade had stopped producing the model a few years prior, and the fact it was already a somewhat sought-after knife in collecting communities, the demand far exceeded the supply. Prices for the knife used were nearly triple what they had been months prior for a like-new knife. Benchmade would retool and produce a very small number of new limited edition BM42 knives, which sold for over 00 each. To this day, even used Benchmade 42 butterfly knives still command much higher prices than they did before the movie.
  • Smokey and the Bandit, along with the trucking song (later also a movie) "Convoy", caused such a spike in the popularity of CB radios that many of the restrictions on their use in the US were lifted in order to take advantage of this boom. The result was, basically, the Eternal September with voice chat, a phenomenon that lasted until the Internet and cell phones became popular. Sales of the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am also saw an upswing, with a CB becoming a dealership option in some places. The CB radio craze brought about by the two also resulted in the "mainstreaming" of much CB radio jargon. "What's your twenty?", "Ten-four good buddy", and "Put the pedal to the metal" all entered the popular lexicon as a result of this movie.
  • Sideways led to increased American sales of Pinot Noir, the wine favored by the main character. At the same time, Merlot sales declined in the US because he doesn't drink it, and says so in one scene. Ironically, this actually caused the average quality of both wines in the American market to switch places. Merlot had previously been overproduced to the point that it was regarded as rather déclassé by wine aficionados, hence Miles' dislike for it. In response to the change in demand, the market was flooded with mediocre Pinots, while the average quality of Merlots increased as fewer were produced.
  • In the special edition commentary of Napoleon Dynamite, it was mentioned that the blue unicorn t-shirt Napoleon wears in the movie had been discontinued when the film came out, but thanks to the popularity of the film, the shirt was reproduced.
  • Steven Spielberg initially went to Mars Inc. to ask them if he could have Eliot feed E.T. M&Ms. They said no. So he went to Hershey and asked about a little-known product of theirs called Reese's Pieces. Accounts are inconsistent — some say sales of the things tripled — but the product certainly got a boost.
  • The Power Loader from Aliens. Caterpillar received inquiries on how to purchase one of the things, but they don't exist and the prop wasn't real.
  • Popular Martial Arts Movies will cause a spike in interest for the martial art it features, whether it's karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, jiu jitsu, or something else. The Karate Kid in particular did this for karate lessons.
  • Back to the Future Part II, being set 20 Minutes into the Future, led to a lot of demand for "futuristic" things to come into being in real life:
    • The movie featured self lacing sneakers, which Nike now has in production for 2015 to benefit Michael J. Fox's charity. They do not, however, actually self-lace. Though a hobbyist has worked out such a device, it's too big and strong for actual use (it would fill the shoe entirely, and possibly break your foot). Nike also produced a very limited run of Hyperdunk sneakers in 2008 inspired by the sneakers in the movie (again, non-self-lacing).
    • There was a rumor that the Hoverboards from Part II were actually real, but had been banned due to inherent risk of lawsuits over injuries. According to Snopes, both Mattel (whose logo is prominent on the Barbie-pink hoverboard Marty McFly used) and the studio received a bunch of letters inquiring where you could get one of those wonderful toys. This was not helped when Robert Zemeckis, the film's director, gave an interview where he jokingly said they were real. This article suggests that Zemeckis owes an apology (or preferably a real hoverboard) to all the children who saw the film for the trauma brought on by the realization that they could not, in fact, buy a hoverboard.
    • There were also inquiries as to whether the coaster-sized dehydrated pizzas were real.
    • Another, more genuine example is the DeLorean DMC-12, a car that had been produced for less than two years and had a reputation for extreme unreliability (hence Marty's surprised comment that Doc Brown had, out of all automobiles, made a time machine out of a DeLorean). It was discontinued before the first film was ever made, but the movie caused second hand prices to skyrocket. Eventually, the car was brought back into low-level production, arguably because of the movie alone.
    • Pepsi made a limited run of Pepsi Perfect for the 30th anniversary in 2015. And yes, it does cost per bottle.
  • An inversion: Psycho caused the number of showers being sold to drop dramatically. However, you can now buy shower curtains with permanent fake bloody handprints. And shower curtains with images of "Mother" in silhouette.
  • Jaws:
    • Jaws codified the Threatening Shark trope, and people took that to heart in real life. Beach attendance and other oceanic activities took a big hit. There were serious stories of people being afraid to take a bath after seeing Jaws. It also caused a spike in shark hunting, as people would attack even harmless sharks, to the point of endangering them (especially the Great White). Peter Benchley, author of the novel Jaws, was so troubled by this that he devoted much of his later life to shark conservation. A popular Asian Urban Legend also claims that Jaws increased the demand for shark fin soup.
    • Jaws 3D increased attendance at SeaWorld. Conversely, Blackfish decreased attendance.
  • Inverted by Deliverance. The Appalachian camping industry was nearly bankrupted following the film's release.
  • The My Buddy doll line has never recovered from the first Child's Play movie. Making this stranger is that the writer claims that he was basing it on the Cabbage Patch Kids line. Given that the doll seen in the movie bears virtually no resemblance to a Cabbage Patch Kid, and a strong resemblance to a My Buddy doll, and even has a name more similar to My Buddy than Cabbage Patch Kids — namely "Good Guy" — it's understandable where the "confusion" could occur.
  • Because Eddie Murphy wore a Mumford Phys. Ed. Dept T-shirt in Beverly Hills Cop, the T-shirt became a huge seller. Indeed, the shirts are sold pre-faded to match the original faded design he wore.
  • It Happened One Night, a 1934 Frank Capra Screwball Comedy, had one scene in which Clark Gable takes off his shirt to reveal he's not wearing an undershirt. The movie coincided with sales of undershirts dramatically declining, leading to a persistent interpretation that it involved this trope.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire caused a spike in T-shirt sales because of Marlon Brando's sexiness while wearing one.
  • There was a huge spike in sales of heart-shaped sunglasses after they were featured in the movie poster for Stanley Kubrick's 1962 adaption of Lolita. It even had a positive effect on the name "Lolita" itself (as shown above).
  • Sales of Vans shoes increased following the release of 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, where Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) wore his Vans black-and-white checkerboard slip-on shoes.
  • In This Is Spinal Tap, the band uses a custom-made amplifier which has its maximum volume setting at 11 instead of 10. Several companies now make amps with that same setting, the BBC iPlayer volume scale goes from 1-11, and even the IMDb rating system for the film goes up to 11 rather than 10. And also, it named a trope.
  • The Matrix:
    • The first film's release coincided with a spike in sales of long black leather coats and Cool Shades like the characters wore. John Woo's A Better Tomorrow came out around the same time and did the same in Hong Kong, leading to a Lampshade Hanging in the sequel where Ken tells the neighborhood kids how dumb their taste in fashion is.
    • Before The Matrix came out, there were no phones anywhere that slid open like the modified Nokia 8110 seen in the movie. The original wasn't spring-loaded; you had to slide it open and closed manually. After the movie opened, people wanted the spring-loaded, flick-open version, and cell phone companies had to design one to meet the demand that suddenly appeared.
    • Nu Rock boots were popularised by The Matrix. Goths during the early noughties were the most frequent wearers.
  • Top Gun. After the film's release, sales of Ray-Ban Aviators and bomber jackets skyrocketed. It also increased the number of people enlisting the Navy and Air Force, but that at least was intentional: why do you think the film was Backed by the Pentagon?
  • In fact, specific brands of Cool Shades often get a boost from badasses wearing them. In addition to The Matrix and Top Gun:
    • The Gargoyles sunglasses Arnold Schwarzenegger wore in The Terminator got a boost.
    • Ray-Ban Wayfarers were popular going back to the 1950s, when Audrey Hepburn wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Tom Cruise made them popular even before Top Gun when he wore them in Risky Business.
    • Will Smith helped sales of Ray-Ban RB 2030 - Predator 8 Wrap shades after Men in Black. Ray-Ban tried to do it again with the anachronistic shades worn by Smith in Wild Wild West, but it didn't work nearly as well.
  • Sales of tickets on Seabourne cruises oddly spiked after Speed 2: Cruise Control. Before the movie came out, Seabourne was asked what they were thinking, allowing a movie about people not having much fun on a cruise take place on their company's ship. Seabourne representatives just said it was free publicity. They were right. A similar effect, on a grander scale, occurred with the release of Titanic.
  • Contact apparently created quite a bit of publicity for the SETI program. Even ten years later, it's usually how people know of it. This was probably intentional, given the book author Carl Sagan's support for the program.
  • Movies about dancing will often result in a spike in people enrolling in dance classes:
    • The Japanese movie Shall We Dance? greatly increased both the popularity and respectability of ballroom dancing in Japan. As the movie shows, it was a furtive practice prior to the movie, as it was regarded as disreputable.
    • Dirty Dancing produced a similar effect in the West when it was first released. Masses of teen-age girls in Germany rushed into dance schools hoping to learn to dance like Baby Houseman or (especially) have a second Johnny Castle as their instructor. Guys mostly took dancing lessons because there were loads of girls, and a few hoped to one day be able to get chicks because they can dance like Johnny Castle.
    • Dancing with the Stars has resulted in increased demand for ballroom dance classes in the US as well. Here's an article with an example. The Japanese TV version was titled Shall We Dance? in homage to the movie, and Richard Gere starred in an American version of the same film. Ballroom dancing owes a huge debt to that quirky Japanese comedy.
    • Strictly Ballroom had a similar effect in Australia.
  • In-universe example: In Night at the Museum, a few chaotic events one night at the American Museum of Natural History caused a small media frenzy, which resulted in a drastic increase of attendance at the museum. The film itself also renewed interest in visiting the museum. Which in turn led to the sequel Battle of the Smithsonian, where the museum directors couldn't sign on fast enough, in hopes that they could make lightning strike twice.
  • A Clockwork Orange caused sales to go up for "Ludwig van"'s Ninth Symphony recordings.
  • The James Bond films caused all sorts of demand for the toys and gadgets the suave spy has used over the years:
    • Bond has used all sorts of Cool Cars over the years; after being featured in The Spy Who Loved Me, demand for white Lotus Esprits grew so much that customers were put on a three-year waiting list. In later films, car companies would maneuver to try and deliberately place their own products in the films (the most successful example being the BMW Bond drove in the Pierce Brosnan era). But the coolest of all time is the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger; everybody dreamed of owning one since that movie. But these people, including Top Gear's James May, were astonished to find out that the car had quite a spotty reputation in Britain, leading to low demand and massive depreciation. Then the Top Gear segment became popular and gave the DB5 another boost.
    • In supplemental material for Thunderball it is revealed that the military, upon seeing the film, were interested in acquiring the pen-sized device Bond uses to breathe underwater. Unfortunately, the device doesn't actually exist. Production designer Peter Lamont politely informed them that the effect was created in the editing room and that Connery surfaced between takes.
    • Omega, like many other Swiss watchmakers, saw their sales decline in the 1970's due to the "Quartz Revolution". Then in 1995, they partnered with the production team of GoldenEye, and the Seamaster model featured in the film became one of the most ubiquitous luxury divers in the world over the next few years. The success of that model led to them being able to fund several innovations, such as the Co-Axial escapement. Over the next twenty years, they would come to be one of the most recognizable Swiss watch brands in the world, arguably second only to Rolex (which Bond also popularized back in the 1960s).
    • Skyfall caused a spike in the sales of old-fashioned straight razors (also known as cut-throat razors) due to the scene where Moneypenny seductively uses one to give James Bond a close shave.
    • The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration doesn't traditionally involve a giant parade, like the one Bond encounters at the start of Spectre. But then in 2016, the year after the film came out, the Mexico Tourism Board decided that there was enough demand for such a parade, both from people abroad and in Mexico itself, that they organized one in Mexico City as a means of attracting tourists to the city.
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno created a demand for real hockey jerseys for the fictional Monroeville Zombies.
  • V for Vendetta caused a huge spike in sales of Guy Fawkes masks at costume stores. The mask's increased popularity probably contributed to its use in Project Chanology a couple years later, which only increased its iconic status in pop culture. It has also become a populist symbol that has appeared at numerous political protests, including Great Ape-Snake War. This is weird for two reasons: first, the original Guy Fawkes was an ardent monarchist who wanted to get rid of King James because he was Catholic; and second, people who use these masks to protest the tyranny of the rich cause Warner Bros. to get a small royalty with every mask they buy.
  • The famous Red Ryder BB gun from A Christmas Story had it happen to it twice. The Red Ryder BB gun was named for a comic strip cowboy character from the 1940s and 1950s, and even after the comic was cancelled in 1963, it was already the most famous BB gun in American history, even outstripping the fame of the comic that inspired it. Then A Christmas Story caused a surge for the specific model of BB gun it described, which ironically did not exist in real life, even as a prototype. (The gun with the sundial and compass in the stock was the Buck Jones Daisy BB gun.) That is, until it was defictionalized.
  • Shirley Temple set several trends for girls. The curls obviously were a fad. She also wore a white rabbit coat in one film and the popularity of such coats exploded for upper class girls.
  • According to the movie's trivia section over at IMDb, the use of caller ID increased more than threefold after the release of Scream (1996). The movie also increased demand for Ghostface masks/costumes, which existed before (and which is actually a minor plot point in the first film).
  • Wall Street:
    • When Michael Douglas used a (now comically large) mobile phone in the 1987 film, it established the mobile phone as an essential business accessory, leading to the modern popularity of mobile phones. Nice Guy Eddie's enormous car phone in Reservoir Dogs (1992) may have helped too.
    • It increased the sales of a certain type of horizontally striped shirt. They were sometimes called "Gekko shirts" after the film's Corrupt Corporate Executive (although their popularity may have been prompted by the common Alternative Character Interpretation).
    • According to the DVD commentary, people have come up to Douglas for years and said that his performance inspired them to become stockbrokers. Douglas has had to remind them that Gekko is the villain.
  • The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever created a nationwide craze for disco music and disco dancing (together with discotheques). Before it came out, disco was mostly confined to the New York and Philadelphia urban and gay communities.
  • After the release of The Italian Job (2003), sales of Mini Coopers, featured heavily in the movie, increased by 22%.
  • Pulp Fiction:
    • The film caused great demand for John Travolta's UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt.
    • Brown leather wallets with the words "Bad Mother Fucker" stitched on them are also available.
    • If you were in college in 1994 and smoked cigarettes, you had at least, by Christmas break, learned to roll them yourself, if indeed you hadn't switched to rolled cigarettes completely.
  • Juno caused what was, by all accounts, a staggering demand for hamburger-shaped phones, despite the main character's brief negative comment that it is awkward to talk into. According to a New York Post article just after the film's release, the burgerphone had a huge rise of 759% in a month.
  • The Nice Hat worn by Indiana Jones has been pretty much consistently popular since the first movie was released and is still being sold in costume shops as well as hat stores. It is a high-crowned Herbert Johnson fedora, if you're interested.
  • The Talkboy was originally a non-working prop for Home Alone 2. In 1993 it was made into a retail version, brought on by a massive letter-writing campaign by fans of the film.
  • A horrifying example: The Birth of a Nation singlehandedly revived the Ku Klux Klan after decades of dormancy. The movie was based on a book called The Clansman, which contained the first example of a man burning a cross. Two weeks after The Birth of a Nation premiered, someone burned a cross atop Stone Mountain, and an old tradition was invented.
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: The Adidas Rom track shoes made specifically for Team Zissou produced a demand for them in the real world. Although they were never made by Adidas, blogs popped up with directions on how to retrofit a pair and people also started selling them on eBay. Red beanies also became quite popular after the movie was released, with companies selling Ned's traffic light adorned cap.
  • Holiday Inn was the inspiration for the name of the popular real life hotel chain.
  • The success of the 2009 J. J. Abrams Star Trek reboot somewhat increased the value of various Trek merch and memorabilia. Interestingly, various car brands saw a brief spike in the sale of white-colored cars around that time.
  • The gauge piercing became more popular after the Na'vi in Avatar sported them.
  • Transformers, being Merchandise-Driven, certainly tried to do it:
    • The films revitalized the Camaro line via Product Placement, but yellow Camaros with centered twin racing stripes were the most popular version, even though it's used on a Kid-Appeal Character. Even beyond that, just twin racing stripes became a hugely popular custom paint job, even if they aren't yellow, Camaros, or even sports cars.
    • The "Bee-atch!" scented air freshener also surged in popularity due to the movie. It ended up being backordered for months.
    • High demand led GMC to produce the Ironhide series of the Top Kick, the truck modified for the movie.
  • Rickenbacker Guitars already received a boost from The Beatles thanks to John Lennon using their 325 guitar on The Ed Sullivan Show (receiving a newer model afterwards), but once George Harrison used their 360/12 12-string guitar throughout A Hard Day's Night, demand for the latter skyrocketed.
    • One band that watched the film, The Byrds, went out and bought similar equipment, having previously been acoustic folk musicians. Led by Roger McGuinn's 12-string Rickenbacker guitar playing, the band went on to help popularize folk-rock and pioneer Jangle Pop.
  • After its appearance in The Avengers, sales in shawarma shot up dramatically, with some restaurants reporting increases of up to 80 percent.
  • Even though the Volkswagen Beetle was a modestly-selling car during the 1960s, The Love Bug managed to make sales skyrocket even though not a lick of VW-related stuff is seen or heard in the movie. In the second one, Herbie Rides Again, Volkswagen demanded they put Product Placement everywhere, including an entire herd of Volkswagen 60s Beetles in the ending.
  • Much like with the book (see Literature), the release of the The Hunger Games, alongside the releases of The Avengers (featuring Badass Normal archer Hawkeye) and Pixar's Brave (about a young Scot who becomes a bow-wielding warrior), and likely added on to by Arrow has led to heavy increase in interest in archery, to the point where it won't be shocking if, in the future, we will probably end up hearing an Olympic Gold Medalist credit these movies as their reason for getting into the sport.
  • After Charlton Heston tells the cop in Earthquake that his SUV has a custom transmission with eight forward speeds and three reverse, people flooded into Chevrolet dealerships to get one, but they couldn't. The custom transmission was built by the studio for that truck.
  • After 2007's No Country for Old Men hit the big screens, there was an unnerving demand increase for shotgun silencers. Those things actually existed beforehand, though they don't have a particularly silencing effect.
  • Hundreds of tourist visited Thailand to find the river in The Bridge on the River Kwai, but no such river existed. So the Thai government renamed a stretch of the Mae Klong river into the river Khwae. The film's river is in Sri Lanka.
  • Since the release of Cast Away in 2000, Wilson Sporting Goods now makes and sells special Cast Away edition Wilson volleyballs, with the smiling handprint-shaped red face printed on them, still on sale as a regular item to this very day.
  • The 2013 film The Internship increased the number of people applying for internships at Google.
  • The Big Lebowski's ascension to Cult Classic status in the 2000's has been connected to a rise in the popularity of White Russians, the Dude's favorite cocktail. In particular, it helped boost sales of Kahlúa, a Mexican coffee liqueur that's popularly used to supply the drink's coffee flavor.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel caused of a lot of interest in music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, thanks to Peter Quill's beloved Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and 2 Cassette tapes and Sony Walkmen, which have also enjoyed a surge of popularity. So they went ahead and actually released it on vinyl, as well as digital. There was also a limited cassette release packaged to look like a homemade mix tape.
  • The 1960 teen comedy Where the Boys Are, about a group of college girls who head down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for spring break, is frequently credited with both popularizing the spring break tradition in the United States and with the emergence of Fort Lauderdale as America's number one spring break destination. The latter lasted until 1985, when a particularly out-of-control spring break sparked a massive backlash from locals and the mayor that saw the event driven out of the city.
  • The 2011 film Limitless and its 2015 TV adaptation have undoubtedly spurred interest in nootropic drugs for cognitive enhancement, inspiring a transhumanist "biohacking" movement to maximize individual potential through drugs and better habits. Although there is no direct real-world analogue to NZT-48, nor is there likely ever to be, stimulants like Modafinil and Adderall have proven especially popular among Type-A college students and Silicon Valley entrepeneurs. Demand for true nootropics has trickled down to even the pharmaceutical industry itself now.
  • The Graflex 3-cell Flashgun handle, a common accessory for 1940's cameras, is notoriously difficult to come across now despite their antique status (they can be found on Ebay for almost 0). The handle's rarity and high demand nowadays comes as result of being used as the original prop for Anakin and Luke's lightsaber in Star Wars. No wonder vintage photography collectors are frustrated.
  • After the success of The Blair Witch Project, tourism to the quiet little town of Burkittsville, MD skyrocketed. Since many, if not most, of the town's new visitors were loud, obnoxious young people (some of whom committed outright acts of vandalism, thievery and the like), the residents of Burkittsville were understandably upset.


  • Silence of the Lambs, a book written by a criminalist and based on real events, managed to make police profiling and the profiling by female detectives more popular, even among actual police investigators. Before that, it was, to say the least, an underdeveloped (and questionably effective) investigative branch.
  • The popular children's novel Little Lord Fauntleroy created a fad for dressing little boys in the style of clothing described and illustrated in the book, based on outfits author Frances Hodgson Burnett had designed for her own sons. And a generation later, there was a backlash against that kind of outfit for boys by fathers who remembered how much they'd hated them as youngsters.
  • Kate Greenaway's illustrations revolutionized Victorian fashions by creating a huge demand for the simpler, more relaxed outfits she'd designed for her adult and child figures.
  • In 1933, James Hilton wrote a book called Lost Horizon, where the survivors of a plane crash stumble upon a perfect utopia called Shangri-La. The book is obscure now, but Shangri-La and what it represents — longing for a faraway place of beauty, spiritual replenishment, and supernatural longevity — stuck around. When Tibet realized that heavy logging of their old-growth forests was causing disastrous floods, they turned to tourism, found that it paid really well, and renovated a village, renaming it Shangri-La.
    • There was an even odder two-step version during World War II. When reporters asked President Roosevelt where the bombers for the Doolittle Raid came from, he blew off the question by joking that they took off from "Shangri-La." Shortly afterward the U.S. Navy launched a carrier named the U.S.S. Shangri-La (CV-38), which served until the Vietnam era.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The books have reportedly increased the popularity of boarding schools among children in Britain.
    • The books feature a magical beverage called "butterbeer", which people in real life have been wanting to try. A beverage of that name did exist in the Tudor era (as beer blended with butter, sugar, eggs, and spices, kind of like a 16th-centuy eggnog), but in recent years everybody seems to have his own recipe for it — including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, about a bishonen artist/poet who shoots himself when the love of his life marries the man she was already engaged to when Werther met her, was a huge bestseller in 1774, touching off a wave of copycat suicides. This cropped up again in Palestine in the 1930s when the book was published there. There was a huge demand for blue frock-coats and yellow vests as well, because Werther is described as wearing them. Not to mention the merchandise — Werther perfume. And the fan fiction (in the 18th century, yet). And the opera.
  • Twilight:
    • The town of Forks, Washington has seen a 600% increase in tourism in the last few years, nearly all of it due to it being the main setting of the series. There have even been a pair of documentaries, Twilight in Forks and Destination Forks, made about how the town has been affected by this. The Twilight tourism has also rubbed off on neighboring towns, most notably La Push (home of Jacob Black and the Quileute tribe) and Port Angeles (the main town on the Olympic Peninsula, and where several scenes from the book took place).
    • The restaurant Bella Italia in Port Angeles, where Bella and Edward have their first date, received so many requests for the mushroom ravioli that Bella orders in the book that they added it to the menu under the name of "Bella's Mushroom Ravioli." The defictionalization was taken a step further in 2011 when the dish was made available by the restaurant as a frozen take-home entree.
    • Wuthering Heights is enjoying a revival thanks to Bella's fondness for it (coupled with Edward's derision).
  • The Count of Monte Cristo is the reason why the Chateau d'If, otherwise a random old prison in the south of France, is popular with tourists.
  • In William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, Cayce Pollard is a media consultant with an allergy to blatant commercial logos and certain fashions. She removes the label from all her clothes and wears drab black, grey, or white everything. She has one specific bit of clothing: a black Buzz Rickson's MA-1 jacket, a replica WWII flying jacket slavishly reproduced by Japanese clothing otaku, accurate down to the wobble in the stitching. Buzz Rickson's was real. The jacket was real. The quality was real. One problem: they didn't make them in black. They do now.
  • The Hunger Games caused a spike in the popularity of archery, particularly among young women, thanks to its Action Girl protagonist Katniss Everdeen being a bow hunter who makes heavy use of her archery skills throughout the books.
  • Christiane F., an autobiographical story about a teenaged drug addict from West Berlin, turned several, mainly German teenagers curious about a rather unfortunate product: Heroin.
  • The Da Vinci Code increased the popularity of the Mona Lisa, with hundreds of visitors wanting to view the painting because of the book and the film, as well as the part of the Louvre where the Magdalene may or may not be buried.
  • According to legend (though likely apocryphal), Sir Walter Scott's Anne of Geierstein is supposedly the source of opals having bad luck; its protagonist dies shortly after her opal necklace is tarnished by holy water. The legend says that the book was popular enough that sales of opals dropped 50% in England after the book was published, and the market was only corrected after a large black opal influx from Australia. In fact, there is little contemporary evidence to support this claim.
  • This trope is the whole reason that we have The Shadow at all. Street and Smith was getting its clock cleaned in the detective-story magazine business in 1930, and so decided to latch on to a new gimmick — dramatizing their stories on the radio. They chose as a narrator/host character a mysterious, vaguely sinister figure that soon became known as "The Shadow" (a nod to a Charles Dickens character who was a hypothetical newspaper reporter). While he wasn't intended to do more than usher in the stories and never actually figured in them (think "The Cryptkeeper" from Tales from the Crypt), the public fell in love with the character and demanded to know more about him. Whereupon Street and Smith hired Walter B. Gibson to begin writing novel-length stories of The Shadow in a new magazine devoted to him. And the rest is history.
  • The story "A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound," from John Irving's novel A Widow For One Year, was made into a children's book.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Take any TV series built around people who practice a certain profession. A lot of viewers will take interest joining college to learn the job, only to have most of them drop out when they discover it's not as exciting as the show makes it out to be. Police procedurals are especially guilty of this.
  • A Different World (the spin-off to The Cosby Show):
    • The show increased African-Americans' knowledge of and attendance to America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Of course, that was arguably part of the show's intent.
    • The flip-up sunglasses for eyeglasses which the character Dwayne Wayne wore saw a surge in popularity when the show was at its most popular.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 was known for providing the Colbert Bump to many of the films it riffed, which would later cause problems because the movies would become popular enough to be too expensive to redistribute. But the show was also known to cause increased demand of things in the movies it featured. Case in point: The "hero" of Time Chasers wears a Castleton State College T-shirt through most of the movie. That shirt got popular enough to be demanded in real life (and the film got itself a DVD release). Eerily enough, one of Crow's riffs during the episode was "remember when everyone got the Nick Miller haircut and started wearing Castleton T-shirts?"
  • Disney's Davy Crockett caused a wild sensation in the '50s, popularizing (among other things) coonskin caps as a must-have item among children. Coonskin caps were so popular, the raccoon almost became an endangered species because of it (this was before synthetics). As seen in Back to the Future.
  • Due to the run of the original Knight Rider, there was an increase in demand for Firebird Trans Ams — especially ones with all the gadgets KITT possessed, like the red nose-mounted scanner lights and control yoke instead of a regular steering wheel. Unfortunately, vehicle regulations and traffic laws meant most of those flashy lights and such were either illegal or not allowed on non-emergency vehicles. Eventually the show stopped referring to the car as a Trans Am altogether, so that people would stop showing up at car lots and requesting options they couldn't get. You can, however, buy a Knight Rider themed dashboard GPS that speaks to you in KITT's voice.
  • The TV miniseries adaptation of James Clavell's Shogun launched the American fascination with Japanese cuisine during The '80s. In the late 90s, direct-to-video Anime would be handed that baton.
  • Tommy Hilfiger's popularity in the hip hop scene can be traced to Snoop Dogg wearing a Tommy shirt during his Saturday Night Live performance.
  • For a show which spends most of its time talking about unaffordable supercars, Top Gear has a reputation as being able to destroy an everyday car's sales with a single negative word. Manufacturers will occasionally refuse to provide a car for the show to review, fearing they'll hate it, but this tends to rile the presenters more, and they'll often name and shame such cars before going on to review them "covertly" anyway. The presenters would add that in spite of that, too many of the cars they've trashed have gone on to sell well anyway.
    • Due to Ferrari's reluctance to allow Top Gear to obtain an Enzo Ferrari for testing and review, Clarkson recruited Nick Mason of Pink Floyd to allow the show to use his Enzo for review and testing. Mason agreed, under the stipulation that they "promote" his book, Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd.
    • The presenters spent an entire series mocking the forthcoming Dacia Sandero before it had even been finished. By the start of the next series, Renault had not only delayed the UK release of the model, but also of the whole brand's (while the official reason was because of the greater-than-anticipated demand in Continental Europe, one can't help but wonder why Renault would release that statement when they did). But Season 14 has May drive the Sandero in Romania, and he liked it so much that he wanted to take it back to the U.K. with him (before a lorry driver "accidentally" backed into it, much to Clarkson and Hammond's amusement). That may have been enough to give Dacia a respectable showing in the UK. May would later take a Sandero with him on the Ukraine trip, and it would be the only car of the three not to run out of gas before reaching the border.
    • For their American Supercars special, Dodge refused to loan them a Challenger because they'd given so many of their other cars bad reviews. So Richard Hammond bought one — and he loved it.
    • Top Gear's power lap certainly gives lower-profile sports car companies a chance to get some recognition: the Gumpert Apollo was best known for several years as the "fastest car round the Top Gear track." Although sometimes the opposite is true: Clarkson royally took apart the reliability and safety of the Caparo T1.
    • When testing luxury cars in Albania, Bentley refused to provide a car. Clarkson took a beaten-up Yugo instead, all the while pretending it was "really" a Bentley.
    • The real red stapler, though, is the military. Every challenge featuring the military provides the British armed forces with a chance to show off their state of the art military hardware to millions of prime-time (often male, young adult) viewers. Top Gear is one of the best recruiting ads out on the BBC, second only to James Bond.
  • Home perm kit sales skyrocketed in Britain after Ashes to Ashes, which features a permed Keeley Hawes, began running.
  • At the height of its popularity, Power Rangers most definitely did get the youngsters fixated on martial arts, although it was less of the "take classes, study disciplines and earn belts" sort than it was the "yell 'hi-yah!' and kick your cousin in the groin" variety.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard revitalized popularity in the late-1960s model Dodge Charger, but also smashed so many of them that they remain hard to find to this day. The show also popularized short shorts, particularly tight jeans cut off just below the buttocks ("Daisy Dukes").
  • Inversion: Australian TV show Kath and Kim decreased the popularity of chardonnay in Australia (which is a shame, because Australia really does make some good chardonnay). Having it drunk by two of the least classy middle-class women in all of Melbourne, one of whom pronounces it "card-donnay", might have something to do with it.

    Kim: Card-onnay, card-onnay, you pack of chunts!!

  • Applications to ER medical residency programs skyrocketed after ER premiered.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Tenth Doctor's fondness for Converse All-Stars helped contribute to their surge in popularity around that time.
    • Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor was so hyped up, interest in Harris Tweeds rose because he wore one as the Doctor, even before he properly debuted on the show.
    • The Eleventh Doctor would often repeat the mantra that Bow Ties Are Cool. Turns out he's right.
    • Stetson hats◊ also popular after the Eleventh Doctor wore one.
    • At the beginning of "Before the Flood", the Twelfth Doctor talks directly to the viewing audience, describing a Bootstrap Paradox and adding "Google it." Google searches for "Bootstrap Paradox" spiked following that episode.
    • Once the Twelfth Doctor debuted his new costume in "The Magician's Apprentice", millions of fans immediately wanted the graphic t-shirt that he wears under his suit jacket. As soon as it was positively identified — as a Label Lab "Misty Mountain" design — fans dog-piled on House of Fraser, the online apparel store that sold it. It took less than a month for all of the Misty Mountain shirts to sell out.
  • After the Lost episode "Numbers" debuted, there was a marked rise in purchases of lottery tickets using the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. And indeed, there have been several reports of people winning large amounts of the money by playing those numbers and winning from some or most of the numbers. A reported jackpot with all of the Lost numbers has, to date, never been reported.
  • The title character's coat in Sherlock was a discontinued, limited edition item (a fact mentioned in dialogue in the series). There were so many demands for it after the show aired that Belstaff brought it back.
  • Emergency!: The show is popularly thought to have been the best advertisement about the merits of the paramedic program ever, and lots of cities and counties started setting up their own in the 1970s. While the series' influence on public policy might never be confirmed, the series definitely inspired many people to become paramedics and/or firefighters.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series showcased a lot of space-age technology and coolness that people wanted to have for themselves:
    • The managers of a fancy hotel once contacted the producers asking them what they did to get the fancy automatic doors to work right. They were nonplussed to hear that the doors on the Enterprise worked by having a guy pull on a rope. When technology marched on, automatic doors would wind up working exactly like they did on Star Trek.
    • James Doohan's Montgomery Scott character has inspired so many to become engineers that he received an honorary degree in Engineering from one such school. Similarly, Dr. McCoy is said to have encouraged many fans to pursue careers in medicine. And many black women who went into STEM and space exploration fields because of Nichelle Nichols.
    • As soon as it was technically possible, cell phones were produced to have a clamshell case design because Star Trek communicators popularized such a look. In fact, you can even get phones that look exactly like a communicator.
    • Uhura's headset looks very much like the Bluetooth headsets of today.
    • The starship Enterprise herself inspired NASA to name a training shuttle Enterprise (though the effect is lessened when one learns that shuttle never went into space). Weirdly, in later Star Trek series, that shuttle is called out as the namesake for the in-universe Enterprise. Trekkie Richard Branson named his prototype Virgin Galactic (low-orbit) spaceship Enterprise as well. And he named the second one Voyager.
  • When fans of Gossip Girl learned where Chuck's trademark hideous scarf from season one could be purchased, it sold out in a matter of days.
  • Meta example: Thanks to Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, there were spikes in popularity of the name Nichelle as a baby name.
  • After CSI started airing, applications to be forensics investigators and applications for appropriate college majors skyrocketed. Pretty much every Las Vegas souvenir store carries CSI merchandise now (even though the actual Las Vegas police doesn't even call them CSIs). It also gave us The CSI Effect. Which is bad, by the way.
    • Invoked by Chris Rock in one of his stand-up routines, suggesting that many Americans would've murdered their spouses and buried them in the back yard, except for watching CSI: "Man, they're thorough! I'd better make up, they might catch my ass!"
    • A sad example. In Chile, a university created a three-year CSI course due to popular demand. It lasted for two years, until the students realized that there were no jobs for CSI technicians in Chile. They promptly tried to sue.
  • When the game show Legends of the Hidden Temple was on Nickelodeon, everybody wanted one of the team shirts the contestants wore, and there were a few playground arguments over which of the six teams was the coolest. Since they were a prop and only available to the actual contestants, many kids were disappointed. Over 15 years and a Nostalgia Filter later, the demand is still so high, they keep a couple of Internet companies in business. Like this one.
  • The "Rachel" cut, the flat, straight and square-layered hairstyle worn by Jennifer Aniston in the first couple of seasons of Friends, was so popular with women that it came to be associated with The '90s the same way that frizzy, voluminous hair defined the preceding decade. The funny thing is that this was unintentional. The stylist originally wanted Aniston to have even-length hair, but accidentally cut off a bit too much on the front right; instead of matching all the rest of her hair to it, he just cut off a bit on the other side to make it symmetrical. In an interview, Aniston claimed that she hated the haircut and didn't get what the "big deal" was.
  • The massive popularity of The X-Files' early seasons had viewers clamoring for Mulder's UFO-themed office poster. However, the image on the poster was created (and owned) by the show's production team, and couldn't legally be mass produced. Eventually, the show's merchandising department remedied the problem by redesigning the poster used in the show itself, adding the iconic "I Want to Believe" catchphrase to a (similar) pre-existing image of a UFO. The show also greatly increased the interest in UFOlogy and probably inspired many young conspiracy theorists.
  • Whenever the show Glee features a song that is either obscure or hasn't been big in several years, the publicity causes sales for the original song to go up. It's also created a mainstream interest in show choir.
  • Kyra Sedgwick's simple no-frills carry-all black tote in The Closer is now selling on QVC.
  • In Germany, there's been a notable increase in the number of young people wanting to go into gastronomy and hotel management after jobs in these fields were disproportionately frequently given to Soap Opera characters.
  • One of the most famous examples: When J.J. went out and got a library card in an episode of Good Times, it inspired many young African-Americans to do the same.
  • You can now buy Dunder Mifflin brand paper (from The Office) from (owned by the store franchise Staples—who, funnily enough, are repeatedly mentioned as Dunder Mifflin's main competition).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Surprise," Angel gives Buffy a claddagh ring for her 17th birthday, explaining the different meanings in how you wear it, with obvious romantic overtones. The scene caused a boost in popularity for claddagh rings.
  • Everyone can thank Steve Urkel for popularizing the tiny and quite strange BMW Isetta bubble car.
  • Ernie's Signature Song "Rubber Duckie" from Sesame Street helped make the squeaky yellow ducks a common bathtime toy among children. This was a revival, as the rubber duck has enjoyed periods of popularity on and off since its invention in the 1890s.
  • The "app" featured in The Big Bang Theory episode The Weekend Vortex inspired a multitude of real-life whip sound apps.
  • The British popularity of the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen led to a surge in demand for the Faroese jumpers worn by the main character, Sarah Lund.
  • Breaking Bad: A fairly disturbing example was described when the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, was on The Colbert Report:

    Colbert: Is there actually blue crystal meth? Did you make that up or is there actually blue crystal meth out there?
    Gilligan: There is now.

    • Apparently, the imitation Blue Sky has actually been making users ill (that is, even more than they'd normally be from using meth). The reason? Dealers adding random chemicals to their meth to get that color. The makers of the show deliberately used an incorrect formula so that they wouldn't teach viewers how to cook meth, but it didn't stop various enterprising dealers from trying to cash in.
  • Mad Men has created another wave of '60s nostalgia, especially in fashion.
    • Don Draper's signature Old Fashioned was long forgotten when the show aired and has seen a comeback, along with the Manhattan. Hilarity generally ensues when younger fans used to lighter concoctions try these rather strong cocktails (an Old Fashioned is mostly whiskey) for the first time.
  • Ford Motor Company marketed a Starsky & Hutch version of its Torino during the height of the series' popularity. White stripe and all.
  • MTV's 16 and Pregnant has been linked to a small but noticeable decline in Teen Pregnancy rates during the time that it aired. The researchers who examined the link claimed that it was because the show made raising a baby at such a young age look like a harrowing, stressful job that would destroy a teenage girl's life. Oddly enough, it was also feared that the show would lead to the exact opposite effect, with teenage girls attempting to imitate the show's stars and get themselves pregnant, possibly just to get onto the show.
  • When The BBC began a re-run of Thunderbirds in 1992 (the first time it had ever been simulcast nationally), demand for Tracy Island toys outstripped supply. Blue Peter helpfully gave instructions for building a home-made version, the video release of which ran out in minutes. Hell, forget the video, demand was such that there was a huge lead time in receiving a paper copy of the instructions from the BBC (bear in mind, this was before Internet access was widespread).
  • Mr. Bean caused a spike in demand for antique Mini cars in several countries back in the late 90s due to said Mr. Bean driving a BMC Mini.
  • The 1970s series Baretta, with Robert Blake as a plainclothes police detective, caused a surge in the popularity of sulphur-crested cockatoos as pets (on the show, Tony Baretta has one named Fred). Unfortunately, a lot of people undoubtedly regretted the decision to purchase one, as the birds can be troublesome, loud, demanding pets who chew on just about any solid material they can get their beaks on.
  • Alton Brown has lamented about people purchasing products they see on Cutthroat Kitchen — even when the products are being offered as sabotages that make cooking harder.


  • An odd example in that the news is responsible, and a rather tragic one at that: All of the news stories regarding pit bull attacks and dog fighting rings has solidified their image as vicious attack dogs (which isn't accurate), leading to a rise in their popularity amongst unscrupulous owners who just want a tough-looking dog to show off, or, worse yet, to fight against other dogs. Many of these dogs will end up being abused or left tied up in backyards, which causes them to develop behavioral issues (as any dog, not just a pit bull, would in that scenario), and eventually leads to yet another incident of a pit bull attack, and the subsequent news story, and the cycle continues. Dobermans and Rottweilers also suffer from this, to a much lesser extent, but the pit bull breeds tend to get the worst of it. You can, of course, also blame the jerks who run dog-fighting rings for this problem.


  • Avril Lavigne:
    • The music video for "Sk8er Boi" inadvertently resulted in a massive demand for Wilkesboro Elementary School shirts, much to the school's surprise and delight.
    • She also wore a Napanee Home Hardware t-shirt, a hardware store from her tiny Ontario hometown, for an appearance on Saturday Night Live. The demand was such that the chain began producing them in large quantities and selling them nationwide.
  • Sales of deodorant Teen Spirit skyrocketed with the release of the Nirvana song (and its accompanying album). And plummeted after the song faded away. Far worse than burning out. Not that Kurt knew Teen Spirit was a deodorant. He just liked the phrase after it was directed at him by his friend, Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna. Apparently he was quite disappointed to discover its origin. It's not nearly as clever as when he thought it was some kind of metaphor.
  • Thrift store and flannel clothing became popular after the mainstream success of various grunge bands. However, many of these bands were wearing them not to create a fad but because they were the warmest clothes they could afford. In fact the "look" becoming a fad annoyed many grunge artists, because they were playing in their everyday clothes in deliberate contrast to the excessive flashiness of 80's bands.
    • Neil Young raised (or lowered) the messy uncombed flannel look to a fine art. When he toured Japan in 1976, he was greeted in Osaka by hundreds of students in flannel shirts and jeans.
    • Sales (and prices) of Fender Jazzmaster, Jaguar and Mustang models, chosen by Cobain and his ilk as they were inexpensive, strange, unfashionable pawnshop guitars (and as Cobain had small hands and found the smaller necks easier to play) grew with Grunge's popularity. Similar, too, were the popularity of strange analog 1970's stompbox effect pedals grungers used to create their sounds.
  • During Beatlemania,
    • Just about anything a Beatle wore took off. Arguably the most famous is the moptop hair cut.
    • The Beatles connection certainly helped (and continues to help) sales of Rickenbacker, Hofner, and Gretsch guitars and basses, particularly those played by the band, as well as certain Epiphone, Fender and Gibson guitars, and Ludwig drums.
    • They were one of the first bands to use a Moog modular synthesizer (though The Monkees had them beat by two years), on the Abbey Road album in 1969, helping to pave the way for the popularity of synthesizers in pop music.
    • As far as studio technology is concerned, the fact that the Beatles used EMI REDD47 mixers, Fairchild 660 and 670 limiters, Neumann U47 and U48 microphones, and Altec compressors to record their music, often pushing them in radical ways to produce the groundbreaking sounds they made, has led not only to new interest in the genuine articles, but plenty of hardware and software recreations of that gear. Oddly enough, even by 1960s standards it was relatively old-fashioned equipment, and Abbey Road Studios was slow to adapt new technology.
    • The use of the advance equipment is also (among others things) why they stopped performing concerts and touring during their height, because it was too hard to replicate outside the studio.
    • When George first played the sitar in "Norwegian Wood", fans wrote to the label and to radio stations by the millions, asking what kind of "guitar" that was. Overnight, the sitar was transformed from a classical and sacred instrument to an exotic pop sound.
  • After Jay-Z said in "Show You How", "we don't drive X5's, we give 'em to baby mamas," BMW X5 sales dropped notably. Even though most of the target audience for X5's probably didn't even know who Jay-Z is, let alone paid attention to one line on a pretty obscure album track.
  • Queens of the Stone Age singer/guitarist Josh Homme's use of the rare Ovation Ultra GP type of electric guitar has increased demand and prices for original examples.
  • Dire Straits' decision to place Mark Knopfler's National Style O resonator acoustic on the cover of their 1985 album Brothers in Arms resulted in a surge in demand for the guitars, leading to high prices which continue to this day.
  • It has been observed that a number of hit singles, even after their sales started to decline, have enjoyed spikes in their sales when "Weird Al" Yankovic released parodies of them. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana once said, "I knew we had arrived when Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of us."
    • ...which was subsequently parodied on The Simpsons by having Homer (in an episode in which he briefly became a grunge-rock star) watch Weird Al parodying his hit song on TV. To take the pop-cultural references one level further, Weird Al now uses a clip of that Simpsons episode as part of the visuals shown in his concerts.
  • Men at Work's "Down Under" is enough of an Ear Worm that despite only mentioning the iconic Australian product once in the entire song, drove up sales of Vegemite on its release.
  • Marching-band inspired jackets remain popular since My Chemical Romance's release of The Black Parade.
  • Due to Tommy Tutone's Ear Worm of a One-Hit Wonder known as "867-5309/Jenny", the United States has made said phone number pretty much invalid, except for businesses that buy it up for advertising purposes.
  • Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix drove up sales of the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul in The '60s to legendary status; neither model were known as high sellers at the time. The Les Paul had been discontinued for years when Clapton and his peers started using it. Not only did Gibson bring it back to great success it also drove up the prices of the original 1950s models to insane levels. A 1959 Les Paul Standard is the most expensive guitar in the world, all thanks to Clapton. Sales of high-wattage Marshall amplifiers also increased, along with effects boxes like wah-wah pedals, distortion boxes and phase shifters.
  • Certain musicians such as Ricky Wilson of The B-52s, Johnny Ramone of The Ramones and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana greatly increased the popularity of Mosrite guitars. Mosrites were obscure guitars, but they had became popular in punk by virtue of being cheap (the Ventures models being popular); now they're rare and expensive because of those who played them.
  • The use of cheaply made, red Montgomery Ward Airline electric guitars and Silvertone amplifiers by Jack White of The White Stripes (an attempt by Jack to make use of unconventional, limited, gritty, hard-to-manage-and-play gear as opposed to more popular and comfortable models) led to an interest in vintage lo-fi music equipment (and a reinterest in Garage Rock in general)
  • Brooks & Dunn's 1992 hit "Boot Scootin' Boogie", a song about line-dancing, sparked a renewed interest in line-dancing that lasted well into the late 1990s. The craze even inspired another song which lampshaded the sudden increase — Shenandoah's "If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)", which was inspired by a comment that one of the writers made after seeing a commercial for line-dancing lessons.
  • The saxophone solo in Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" led to hugely increased sales of saxophones everywhere.
  • The Roland TB-303 bass line synthesizer/sequencer was introduced in 1982, but didn't sell too well and production was ceased two years after its introduction. By the end of The '80s, the price of a used machine had fallen from its original price of 0 to under 0. Some machines were bought for next to nothing by Chicago DJs, who invented the Acid House genre on it by tweaking the sound generator while a sequence runs. When the genre became popular in the early Nineties, the TB-303 was so in-demand and sought-after, that its value had risen to multiple times its original price.
    • Pretty much the same applies to analog synthesizers in general, which were almost worthless during the beginning digital boom in the late 80s, but grew outrageously expensive after they helped make and popularize new electronic dance music styles only a few years later.
  • One of the many reasons why the Yamaha CS80 is so expensive is that it's the key element in Vangelis' trademark sound, and many musicians want to sound like this. Just listen to the Blade Runner soundtrack.
  • This applies to almost every electronic instrument or related device made before 1990 and played by Jean-Michel Jarre, including guitar stompboxes and electronic organs (in particular, his famous sweeping string sound is made with a mid-class Dutch home organ and a phaser effect box). Add to this the fact that many Jarre fans and followers are electronic musicians themselves.
  • Subverted by Manta by Norbert & die Feiglinge, a song about a sports coupé made by Opel. What the song kicked off was not an increased demand (which was good in a way because the Manta was discontinued two years earlier) but a huge wave of jokes ridiculing the car and especially the drivers, which ruined its reputation for many years.
  • The Clancy Brothers were single-handedly responsible for sales of Aran sweaters in the US during the sixties and seventies.
  • Katy Perry's video for "Part of Me" has made the Volvo 200 series a somewhat popular car again, with the 260 model being particularly collectible. The version in the video was a U.S.-spec 240 GL 2.3 sedan, 1991 model year. Volvo buyers are even demanding new, retraux Volvo 240s, similar to the new MINI Cooper and Fiat 500, as they feel the S40 is too small but the S60 is too large/expensive and more of a premium executive car.
  • The Kingston Trio's hit cover version of "M.T.A." in the early 1960s is supposed to have so badly damaged the reputation of Boston's Metropolitan Transportation Authority that it took its current name, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, shortly afterwards to prevent the acronym from applying. But things have changed in the decades since. "Charlie", the protagonist of the song, has been the MBTA's official mascot, as used on its "CharlieCard" fare cards since 2004.
  • Depending on who you ask, Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" song has either sent a surge of folks to thrift shops, or just "increased foot traffic" with little to no increase in sales (as in the latter case with the thrift shops seen in the video and surrounding shops).
  • Far East Movement's "Like A G6" apparently resulted in people demanding to be able to fly in a G6, which Gulfstream Aerospace has not made, as they were still producing the G4 at the time of the song. They eventually got their wish in 2013 when Gulfstream released an actual G6.
  • Ylvis' "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" supposedly caused a surge in the sale of fox Halloween costumes.
  • Haircuts sported by the likes of Justin Bieber and One Direction, much like The Beatles example above, have taken off amongst teenagers in recent years.
  • The enormously successful 1892 song "Daisy Bell" preceded the popularity of tandem bicycles, and was probably at least partly responsible for creating the fad.
  • The Who's Quadrophenia album, as well as its accompanying film, has been credited for kick-starting the mod revival of the late '70s and early '80s. It also made Vespa scooters cool again.
  • The weekend that Beyoncé released "Formation", in which she mentions Red Lobster, the chain reported a 33% increase in sales.

    Music Videos 

  • Virtually every music video is basically a commercial for both the artist as well as the fashion worn in the video.
    • A famous example is the red jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the music video of Beat It from Thriller, which lead to increased sales, especially among black teenagers.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • A doll of the Pointy-Haired Boss was made, after fans demanded one, seeing one depicted in the Dilbert comic strip.


If a popular children's movie or cartoon features animals, it will influence the pet demands of many a Spoiled Brat. This is easily the worst type of Red Stapler, with many of these animals inevitably ending up in shelters or rescue centers, being released into the wild, or simply dying as a result of people being ignorant of how to correctly care for them. The Onion sums up the phenomenon perfectly here.
  • The trope Everything's Better with Monkeys encourages people to seek out primates as pets, thinking that they will be charming and fun companions. Unfortunately, all primates make terrible pets, in just about every way possible. They are very noisy, destructive, require specialized diets, and a lot of open space - most are also very social animals who will suffer immensely without the company of their own kind, and typically grow up to be very unruly and aggressive, particularly when raised in such an unnatural environment. Adult primates are strong, agile, with powerful teeth and jaws, as well as razor sharp nails that can inflict serious injury - and they can infect humans with a myriad of very lethal diseases. Most primates end up being disposed of when people realize this, which is a serious issue due to the scarcity of reputable primate sanctuaries.
  • This happens to fish a lot, especially with such works as Finding Nemo.
    • Many exotic fish, like the clownfish and other species shown in Finding Nemo, are surprisingly hard to care for; most parents think that all a fish needs is a tank and some food every now and then. Also, wild-caught tropical fish tend to do very poorly in home aquariums, dying after only a few days. The demand for such exotic fish has grown enough that it's having a noticeable effect on their ecosystem, as the fish are caught en-masse from reefs in the Pacific. It's especially ridiculous because works like Finding Nemo will often point out that fish aren't supposed to be living in a tank in your house.
      • The demand for clownfish post-Finding Nemo was so great that it has led to their near-extinction in some countries. On top of that, unscrupulous "fishermen" anaesthetised them with cyanide, which in turn proceeded to devastate the surrounding environment. This is doubly tragic as clownfish are breedable in captivity.
    • The reverse, though, wasn't any better. Many children tried to flush their fish down the toilet, hoping they would be reunited with their families in the ocean like Nemo was. But sewer systems don't work that way; they're all miles-long systems of pipes and pumping stations that eventually lead to a treatment plant. (The alternative is to dump raw sewage, something the EPA takes a very dim view of.) Even if the fish survive the ride to the plant, the entire point of the plant is to kill infectious microorganisms — and it does a fine job on killing anything bigger, as well. One sewage engineer noted that the first step at the plant is to reduce any large chunks into a fine purée, usually with something like this; he dubbed the result "Grinding Nemo".
    • This was not helped at all by major aquarium supply company Tetra trying using this trope to cash in on this trend by "demonstrating" (read: "advertising") the "ease" of keeping small saltwater tanks with clownfish, blue tangs, and seahorses on CBS's morning news program, and producing a tie-in aquarium kit which was prominently displayed in larger pet store chains. The blatant inaccuracy of their advice, and ridiculous inadequacy of the aquarium kits, effectively guaranteed dead fish within a very short time. It sparked a huge backlash against, and boycott of, Tetra products.
    • Defied with the sequel Finding Dory. Signs◊ were put in pet stores advising against adopting saltwater fish like Dory for beginner aquarium owners, by pointing out how expensive and difficult taking care of them is.
  • Owls after Harry Potter, which do not make good pets, as J.K. Rowling herself has felt obliged to point out. This has caused a big increase in unintentional neglect of owls by owners who don't have a clue how to actually care for a predatory bird. Being loners in the wild, owls are not very friendly (usually they will only bond to one person, and will likely attack anyone else on sight), dislike being handled (as is the case with all predatory birds), and being designed for tearing up carcasses, owl beaks and talons are extremely sharp and can cause serious injuries. In addition, owls are difficult to house, as they need a very large open space to get adequate exercise, and tend to be very destructive, noisy, smelly, and dirty (they require a strict diet of whole animal carcasses, and will frequently vomit the fur and bones of their recent meals). Overall, owls are very high maintenance animals that need a lot of time, care and attention that most people would never be able to provide. For this reason, many places require you to be trained and have a license to own an exotic pet like an owl. This was addressed in the "Care of Magical Creatures" featurette on the DVD of the third movie, with one of the movie's animal trainers telling us:

    "A lot of people, they see the Harry Potter films and they think that these animals make great pets and they really don't. They're not domesticated; they're totally wild animals. It seems so simple when you see it in a movie and easy, but in real life it's a constant eight to twelve hour day taking care of these animals."

  • Many, many breeds of dog. This causes problems when a burst of demand for a specific breed leads to breeders replicating dogs who are outside of breed standards, or have genetic diseases like hip dysplasia. Also, many people who buy a dog because of a film appearance don't have any prior experience with dogs, and the breeds featured in media are not always easy and unpretentious.
    • 101 Dalmatians sparked a rise in the sales of dalmatian puppies. The dalmatian looks funny but is an extremely high-maintenance dog, and any child who thinks that this would be a good dog to own without the sort of dedication children are well known for being incapable of should be set straight rather than obliged in their request.
    • And as the film had a sequel, so did the phenomenon: the release of 102 Dalmatians, with a blue-eyed white puppy named Oddball, triggered a run on blue-eyed white Dalmatian puppies from parents who didn't realize that the blue-eyes gene is strongly associated with deafness. (You thought a hearing dalmatian was high maintenance? Try a deaf one.) Blue-eyed white dalmatians (and indeed, dalmatians in general) were bred at such a rate that puppy mills would inbreed lines with extreme prejudice if they could get away with it. They usually did, and caused enormous damage to the breed in general, with congenital defects ranging anywhere from extra dewclaws to clubbed limbs to clinical insanity.
    • Cujo caused a decline in the sales of St Bernard dogs, which later ended up fixed by the release of Beethoven anyway.
    • Marley and Me probably averted this. Marley was certainly portrayed as cute and lovable, but he wasn't really portrayed as a low maintenance/easy to train pet. The Tear Jerker ending probably had something to do with it as well. It helps that Labrador Retrievers are already the most common breed of dog in the English-speaking world (about half of all mixed-breed dogs in the US and Canada have some Lab in them), and tend to make excellent pets.
    • Marmaduke also averted this, as the eponymous Great Dane is portrayed as being very high-maintenance to say the least. Certain animal welfare groups were concerned about this trope, but it doesn't appear that the film has done much to increase or decrease the popularity of Danes — likely because nobody saw it; the film was an abject failure at the box office.
    • The Lassie and Lad A Dog movies (as well as the Lassie TV show) spawned such a demand for collies that pet breeders nearly managed to ruin what had been a really good breed. Even today, there are tons of badly-bred collies with poor health and the brains of an ice cube.
    • Shetland Sheepdogs were erroneously perceived as "miniature collies" and were in high demand on the erroneous assumption that a smaller dog is lower maintenance. Shelties are people-oriented and tend to be anxious, and the high demand brought these traits out considerably.
    • Lady and the Tramp wreaked similar havoc on American Cocker Spaniels decades ago, and the breed is still notorious today for physical and mental health problems. This compounds the problems the breed already had, as they were already prone to obesity, spinal stress, heart problems, and severe ear infection. Cocker Spaniels are highly aggressive toward humans, much more so than other breeds that are considered dangerous, like Dobermans, but Cockers rarely cause much damage because of their size, so they don't get much press.
    • Snow Dogs made Huskies popular for a bit. They're wonderful dogs, but definitely not for first-time owners, as they can be quite a handful.
    • Pit bulls have had a significant issue of this sort since the late '70s and in particular the early '80s. The term actually refers to several breeds, but most commonly the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier. They are commonly portrayed in films as tough guard dogs or fighting dogs (the are one of the most common for pit fighting), which tends to attract the wrong kind of owner to the breed. Raised properly by a capable owner, they can be wonderful, loving pets. It's not the first time, either; pit bulls were historically bred as large game-hunting dogs, making them very popular for blood sports like bear-baiting and pit fighting and quickly developing a reputation for fierceness and aggression.
      • From the 1920s to the 1950s, though, they were popular pets for entirely different reasons — their intelligence and personable, strongly loyal nature — thanks in large part to Pete the Pup from the Our Gang (a.k.a. The Little Rascals) series of short films (who was alternately portrayed by both Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers).
      • Averted, at least somewhat in the 2010's, with Bull Terriers because of Bullseye, the mascot of department store chain Target, which is always depicted as loving, happy, and affectionate.
    • Similarly, the vicious and aggressive portrayal of the Doberman breed in the media led to a surge in popularity in the 1970s, though it soon dropped significantly within a few years. As a result, Dobermans are considerably rarer today.
    • All Dogs Go to Heaven increased demand for German Shepherds. Of course, German Shepherds have always been highly popular, and are an easy-going and relatively low maintenance breed. I Am Legend likely helped as well.
    • Chihuahuas have also suffered from this. Unfortunately the "purse dog" fad is still going at top volume. They're not a particularly friendly breed either, as owners eventually find out. It was popularized by such works as the Legally Blonde movies, Paris Hilton and The Simple Life, and the dog from the "Yo quiero Taco Bell" ad campaign. Beverly Hills Chihuahua was made at least partly in response to that (and seems to have averted the trend itself).
    • Shiba Inus have experienced a spike in popularity thanks to "Doge" the Internet meme, according to the experiences of Jonathan Fleming, the photograph of the picture that would become the "hipster doge." Wow. Much boost. While not bad pets by any means, shibas are quite a stubborn breed and could be hard to handle for inexperienced owners, so be careful before getting your own doge.
    • The only reason pretty much anyone outside of Africa has even heard of the basenji is the 1950s novel and film Goodbye My Lady.
    • Another relatively obscure dog breed, the Weimaraner, has gained popularity through William Wegman's photos and videos featuring this breed.
    • Most people who saw Turner & Hooch probably couldn't have named Hooch's breed to save their lives. Demand for the French mastiff didn't explode by any means, but that movie and other appearances in media have definitely invoked this trope, since it's a massive, high-maintenance dog that, as the vet herself said, "Not many people [have room for]." Or time for, or money for. And that's with the movie actually playing it fairly straight in terms of how high-maintenance Hooch was.
    • Because of the badass direwolves of Game of Thrones, wolf-like breeds such as the Siberian Husky have become increasingly popular. Some have even sought out dogs that are part-wolf, even though wolfdogs are restricted or even illegal in many areas and have a very different temperament from a normal dog. Of course, like with any canine Red Stapler, many of these dogs wound up with owners who had neither the appropriate housing nor the necessary time and experience for keeping them.
    • The famous true story of the Akita Inu Hachiko and his two movies (one Japanese and one American), or the anime Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin where the breed is portrayed as nothing but a kind and heroic dog might easily lead some viewers on in wanting their own Akita puppy. While the breed is indeed known for their bravery and loyalty, the Akita should only be cared for by an experienced owner as they can be challenging to train and are actually prone to aggression.
  • Turtles have been a popular pet for children since the late 80's thanks to the recurring popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, many parents underestimate how long they live and what kind of care they require. A healthy turtle of a smaller species can live for 50-70 years, which is usually much longer than a kid will be interested in them. And a turtle that swims will require about 10 gallons of space per inch of shell length, meaning the average adult will need at least a 50 gallon tank of the right kind (regular aquariums are too narrow). And their diet varies by species and will be more than the dry pellets sold in pet stores. However, some species make easier pets than others. Tortoisesnote Namely smaller ones like Russians and Hermanns that are commonly found in the pet trade and box turtles don't swim and have simpler requirements than aquatic turtles, making them much more reasonable for a child to care for. But they will still live for several decades, so a would-be owner must be prepared for a lifelong commitment. But regardless of species, you would not want to house multiple males in the same space (as was the case for the Ninja Turtles pre-mutation), since they would constantly fight over territory. Multiple females can get along, but mixing the sexes is obviously undesirable unless you're breeding them. Hell, you can have one just fine since most reptiles don't get lonely.
  • Ratatouille led quite a few kids to want pet rats. This actually may have been more of a sensible choice than the previously mentioned animals, as domestic rats make good pets: they're fairly low-maintenance, they're friendlier than their more popular cousins (mice and hamsters), they can be litter-trained, they don't particularly smell, and you can train them to sit on your shoulder. It's recommended you buy at least two (preferably of the same gender, because opposite sexes fight unless they're in heat, when they do a different kind of wrestling) if you're not going to be around all the time, because they're quite social and get lonely. The only problem was that kids really wanted a blue rat, and they would dump their fancy rats when they realized they weren't like in the movie.
  • Oh-so-thankfully averted with Rio. When it came out, there was some concern that like with other films, the movie would lead to a higher demand for parrots. This would've been very bad; parrots, especially larger ones, tend to be extremely high maintenance animals. They're loud, highly intelligent, and require constant attention, play, and stimulation. They're basically like human toddlers, and people already make the mistake of buying parrots without realizing the care they require. Without stimulation they get bored and stressed, which leads to the bird developing bad habits like feather plucking or worse. They can literally go insane, and while "insane asylums" for birds exist, there are far too few of them. Thankfully it didn't happen with Rio, but that was likely because parrots tend to cost a lot of money, so people are less likely to buy them on impulse. The actual species of parrot in the film, Spix's macaw, is virtually impossible to acquire anyway.
  • Jurassic Park increased the demand for frilled lizards as pets, due to them looking like the portrayal of the dilophosaurus in the film. It was like getting a Slurpasaur.
  • Demand for guinea pigs went up significantly for about a year after G-Force came out. On one hand, guinea pigs aren't especially difficult to keep compared to many other animals. On the other, they still require more care, space, and companionship than most people realize. As with many rodents, they also shouldn't be kept alone, which many people tend to neglect.
  • Hamtaro made many people want hamsters, and in some places it was a true boom. It faded some years after, however.
  • Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh were apparently Genre Savvy enough to be aware of this trope when they developed Phineas and Ferb, which is why they deliberately gave their protagonists a pet platypus, an animal that kids could not "pick out at a pet store and beg [their parents] for."
  • Thanks to Zootopia's huge popularity in China, demand for red fox and fennec fox pets increased. Not surprisingly, wildlife experts express concerns for this trend since most foxes found on the pet market "are not commercially domesticated, often not vaccinated and can be dangerous".
  • Kim Possible: Ron Stoppable's sidekick/pet naked mole rat has led to kids wanting one for their very own. Common sense provides it's not really a Speech-Impaired Animal in real life, but what even parents might not know is that the naked mole rat is basically blind, anti-cute, and one of the only mammals that are eusocial — like bees — and so can only survive in an underground colony with hundreds of other mole rats. Also, they look like this.
  • Demand for Portuguese Water Dogs went up 50% after the Obama family adopted one so that the allergic daughters could have a puppy.
  • While hedgehogs are not popular, Sonic the Hedgehog caused Sonic to be one of the popular hedgehog names.
    • Also, thanks a kid's love for Sonic and want for a pet hedgehog led to the lifting of the hedgehog ban in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
  • Interestingily, even legislature can have an effect on pet, especially dog breed, popularity. This was noted in Finland when docking (amputation) of tails and ears of dogs was forbidden. Many dog owners feared guardian breeds as Rottweilers and Dobermanns would suffer on popularity. Actually the effect was inverse: as many Finns saw, for the first time, a natural Rottweiler and Dobermann with full tail and ears, they perceived them as less aggressive and hostile and more suitable as pets and companions, and their popularity actually increased in Finland. A natural Dobermann has a beautiful, naturally curling, tail not unlike a Saluki.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Mexican Professional Wrestling fans have made a tradition of wearing a replica of their favorite wrestler's mask when they go to the shows. This show of support has also made inroads north of the border, with the recent success of masked wrestlers like Rey Mysterio and The Hurricane.
  • Wrestlers will often wear their own unique T-Shirts related to their current gimmick whilst doing promos. The main reason for this is so that the company can sell replicas of these wrestler-endorsed shirts through its merch store. In WCW, for example, the nWo stable was so popular that many fans would wear shirts with the nWo logo on them. In the WWE itself, the various shirts John Cena has worn have been particularly popular with kids.
  • In Japan, pro wrestlers Antonio Inoki and Tiger Mask have done as much to popularize martial arts as Bruce Lee did in United States. Many martial artists unrelated to pro wrestling, like judokas, karatekas, amateur wrestlers and MMA fighters, have confessed being sucked into the martial arts world during their childhood by watching Inoki or Tiger kicking and grappling evil foes in the ring. The same can be applied to United States as well, given that many a sport wrestler can tell he begged to join the school club out of love for the WWF.


  • The Adventures of Superman inverted this trope significantly. In 1946, Florida-native activist Stetson Kennedy had infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and learned its secret greetings and rituals, but the Klan at this time had grown powerful enough that the police were reluctant to stand up to them. He decided instead to pitch a story to the producers of The Adventures of Superman in which Superman takes on an Expy organization called "The Klan of the Fiery Cross". The 16-episode arc revealed the Klan secrets that Kennedy had discovered, stripping the Klan of much of its air of menace and mystery. As a result, new recruitment for the Klan dried up to almost zero within a few weeks of the initial episode broadcasts, and Kennedy and his episodes were regarded by some as "the single greatest contributor to the weakening of the Klan." Read more here.


  • In the Netherlands, after a show of the famous comedian Youp van't Hek in which he had a short skit about Buckler beer (non-alcoholic) not being manly, sales dropped so bad that shortly after, up till this day, you cannot buy Buckler beer in Holland. In other countries you still can.
  • RENT inspired an expensive clothing line to emulate the rummage sale look.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker, based on a book, is likely responsible for the association of Christmas with humanoid nutcrackers wearing nineteenth-century clothing.
  • Before it became a symbol of gangsters during The Roaring '20s (and an almost symbol of douchebaggery now), the fedora was once a fashion accessory for women due to the late Victorian actress Sarah Bernhardt wearing it in her play called Fédora. Soon after, women wanted that soft felt hat as their symbol for women's rights, and about a few decades later, the hat had been passed down to men from gangsters to private detectives to Nazi-asskicking archaeologists as a symbol of badassery, and the rest is history.
  • The 1907 production of The Merry Widow, starring English actress Lily Elsie, paved way to the rise of the wide-brimmed overly-feathered hat that would remain popular during the rest of The Edwardian Era until the dawn of WWI.
  • In 1923, when the Broadway musical Runnin' Wild started playing a unusual yet lively piano stride number, it started a national sensation. And adding it with energetic dance kicks, The Roaring '20s Dance Sensation Charleston was born. The play was then almost forgotten, making it an early example of a Breakaway Pop Hit.

    Video Games 

  • With so many Pokémon, treating every Pokémon equally in regards to official merchandise is nearly impossible. What ends up happening is that sales of a particular Pokémon's merchandise correlates strongly with which ones are showing up in other media, mostly the anime. It's not as predictable as you'd think, though; while the super-cute (Pichu, Jigglypuff) and the super-cool (Charizard, Zekrom) have had their runs, even weird Pokémon like Stunfisk get theirs.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon: Google searches and interest for malasadas shot up since the game's release.
  • The massive success of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time resulted in a massive spike in ocarina sales, specifically potato ocarinas like the one used in the game. Music stores sold out of ocarinas and couldn't keep up with demand. Many kids were disappointed when they asked for an ocarina and got something like this◊. To this day, Renaissance Fairs still sell baby-blue transverse ocarinas, usually with a Triforce-like sign to indicate them. Songbird Ocarinas was the first to do that; they ran ads in Nintendo Power for at least 12 years up until its cancellation (from 1999 to 2012).
  • Team Fortress 2: Ask around any knife/blade shop and chances are they have had a number of people asking about butterfly knives, thanks to that globetrotting rogue, the Spy. The game is also responsible for the popularity of real-life Nice Hat obsession among its fans, though part of it is also due to said fans wanting to Cosplay.
  • After a Suwa Taisha-inspired shrine made its way into Gensokyo, the real-life shrine saw a significant increase in pilgrimages.
  • The town that Higurashi: When They Cry's Hinamizawa is based on had to build a new shrine wall because of the fans.
  • Guitar Hero and Rock Band have drastically increased the younger fanbases of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Rush, Kiss, and many other old-school bands, and given many other bands like Dragonforce big career leg-ups.
  • A bizarre meta example: In Persona 3, one of the social links involves playing a online MMO themed around the Shin Megami Tensei series. The character involved in the link mentions that the MMO does not have a lot of players and is dying. Cue the Defictionalization into Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE, a game based on the Shin Megami Tensei series where, following a very obscure release and some very bad choices on the developer's part, one of the most frequent complaints until it finally shut down in 2016 was that the game does not have a lot of players and is dying.
  • Gran Turismo has done this with its featured cars. the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STi series of high performance rally cars were brought over by their respective makers to the United States thanks to the game. It also caused demand for the Nissan Skyline GT-R in the U.S. (even though it was in Development Hell at the time), although the final product that made it there wasn't nearly the same as what was in the game.
  • No More Heroes: While it's not really a big seller, you can still buy Travis Touchdown's sweet leather coat.
  • A bakery nearby the Valve company HQ enjoyed a spike in black forest cake sales after Portal's release and subsequent Running Gag.
  • One firearms blogger refers to this as the "Call of Duty effect"; video games will lead to the increase in popularity among certain guns. Modern Warfare 2, for instance, led to an increase in interest in the experimental and formerly obscure Bushmaster ACR rifle. The same goes for airsoft copies of certain guns; one company, KWA, had its stock of Beretta 93R machine pistols sell out in record time after Modern Warfare 2 featured it as one of the best sidearms in its multiplayer component. It's very disconcerting to gun enthusiasts, because many of these guys don't know Gun Safety, are out to "headshot some noobs", and want way more than could ever be practical. YouTube gun vlogger Nutnfancy has noted that these people will buy the "military grade" versions of these guns, with all the bells and whistles like in the games, regardless of whether they have a measurable effect on performance.
    • On the other end of the spectrum are "Wasteland Builds" where gun enthusiast gamers will build or modify rifles (usually AK platform rifles, though occasionally G3 clones too) to match the aesthetic or even replicate specific in-game weapons from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Fallout, or Metro 2033 series. Said builds tend to involve lots of duct tape, scrap metal, and forum posts with cheesy fake Russian accents.
  • The expansion pack for SWAT 4 featured a stun gun that held two cartridges instead of one. A few years later came the TASER X2 Defender, which holds two charges. Even better, around the same time was the TASER X3, which holds three.
  • Just about any fantasy-based game of reasonable popularity will quickly find its weapons and armour converted into LARP props. The glass and Daedric weapons from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and several of the famous World of Warcraft pieces are frequent appearances at big meets, and there even a few examples of the equipment used in Minecraft, complete with 8-Bit Tie style blockiness.
  • World of Tanks has gotten in on the act. Scale model sales have gone up as a result of the game to the extent that some companies and stores even offer special World of Tanks bonus codes for buying specific model kits. On top of that, the game also has a virtual replica of the title tank from Fury. Oddly enough, with all the royalties being paid out, Wargaming has decided to go on a restoration spree by channeling some of the money they make from the game into restoring old tanks, ships, and planes to a showable (if not flyable/drivable/sailable) condition. Even their rival, Gaijin Entertainment, the makers of War Thunder has gotten in on this, and are also restoring old tanks and planes to further preserve them.
  • Super Smash Bros. is well known for its role in this effect: obscure franchises which receive representation in this series have seen their popularity explode following their appearance. Kid Icarus sees this the most: Brawl was largely, if not entirely, responsible for its eventual reboot. Fire Emblem also appeared in the west following Smash appearances.
  • Similar to SSB, Kingdom Hearts occasionally gives exposure to an obscure Disney property which proceeds to become much less obscure.
    • Before Kingdom Hearts I, The Nightmare Before Christmas had a following but wasn't exactly what you'd call a Disney classic. Most people didn't even know it was a Disney film, as it was released under the Touchstone banner. But it's always been regarded as a Disney classic overseas, so it was included in the game, leading to its American fandom becoming much more mainstream. Disney made a video game sequel to the film, started putting their name on future home video releases, and even re-released the film in 3D.
    • Kingdom Hearts II's inclusion of a TRON world can probably take the credit for the existence of TRON: Legacy and the little franchise that sprung up around it.
    • And now, thanks to the Bonus Boss of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the current generation has rediscovered Runaway Brain. Downplayed with Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, easily the most obscure Disney property ever to get an entire Kingdom Hearts world, which people became more aware of but didn't enjoy any particular boost in popularity.

    Web Animation 

  • Zippo did not make cigarette lighters with the BMW logo on them until Strong Bad was repeatedly seen using a BMW lighter.

     Web Original 

  • Lord Kat's renewed interest in the game Starsiege: Tribes during February of 2011 caused the number of online players to surge 300% (and earned LordKat the nickname "Savior of Tribes").
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony's review of the 1994 PC game Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge had gamers hitting the used game stores and bargain bins in droves, searching for the obscure title. Which, in turn, nicely remedied his problem of not being able to find any info on it.
  • The goal of any given Let's Play is usually to show off one of the player's old favorites, in the hopes that people watching it try the game out for themselves.
    • Big name LPers are able to bring spikes in popularity to otherwise unknown franchises. Chuggaaconroy, for example, has helped the popularity of relatively unknown games like Ōkami and Xenobladenote At the time he began his Let's Plays of the game, at any rate.
    • Indie developers have lately begun exploiting this by giving well-known Internet personalities permission to LP their games shortly after their initial release. Something Awful, the place Let's Play began at, even had to remove its rule about not LP'ing a game until three months after it came out because of the number of indie/early access titles people wanted to show off.
  • A popular e-mail urban legend involved a customer being charged an exorbitant amount for a Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe, and in retaliation was distributing it for free over the Internet. Neiman-Marcus did not even sell a cookie at the time, but began to do so after the rumor started. And they give away the recipe for free. The urban legend was previously told about many other popular recipes, including a red velvet cake supposedly offered (it wasn't) by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. William Poundstone wrote about the phenomenon in one of his Big Secrets books.
  • Maddox, of The Best Page in the Universe, hates this trope, and directs his rant on the subject at Sideways specifically. He figures that, if you're so impressionable that a movie is going to radically alter your opinion on something, you don't have any business being allowed out of the house to begin with.
  • Wil Wheaton's Tabletop series has had this effect on several of the games it's featured, and it's now not uncommon to enter your Friendly Local Gaming Store and see 'as seen on Tabletop' signs next to games. The most notable example of this is Betrayal at House on the Hill, which was out of print at the time it was featured on the series. Increased demand saw it get a shiny new edition it probably wouldn't have had otherwise.
  • Michael from Vsauce managed to do this to a word; his video titled "The Zipf Mystery" at one point talks about the word "quizzaciously" (meaning "in a mocking manner"), which is a word that's only appeared once in Google search results, at the time before the video's release. After the video's release, a subreddit was made and the word gained so many mentions all over the 'net.

    Western Animation 

  • Kim Possible:
    • A mother in Finland once wrote an article stating that Kim Possible encouraged her daughter to take up cheerleading and martial arts lessons. A poster on a forum commented a similar thing happened with Power Rangers (see above).
    • Fans credit this with Taco Bell's creation of the Crunchwrap Supreme, as it is very similar in concept to the naco.
  • Played with in KaBlam!, which had a scene in an episode where Henry and June show the audience their poseable action figures. After it aired, kids across the US searched in Toys R Us/Wal Mart/Target for H&J toys. They don't exist.
  • After the Lady Gaga song "Poker Face" made an appearance in an episode of South Park where the boys are playing Rock Band, the song quickly made it into the real game. Even better? So did Cartman's version.
  • The free advertising provided by the frequent references to Wensleydale cheese in the Wallace & Gromit shorts and movie kept the makers of that cheese from going out of business.
  • Inverted with A Charlie Brown Christmas; the special's denouncement of Aluminum Christmas Trees is credited with helping kill the fad.
  • School bands saw an increase in female sax players once Lisa on The Simpsons became a popular character.
  • Popeye and its use of spinach as a Power-Up Food led to people eating more spinach. Crystal City, TX has a statue of Popeye in thanks, as spinach is the city's staple cash crop. The irony is that, despite it's other vitamins, spinach isn't even that good for you.
  • Steven Universe got people to start collecting gemstones, prompting warnings to be sent out that certain minerals — such as lapis lazuli and (appropriately enough) malachite — are highly toxic.
  • After the season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty revealed that Rick was obsessed with the Szechuan dipping sauce McDonald's released to promote Mulan back in 1998, fans started clamoring for McDonald's to re-release the sauce.


  • Found Item Clothing re-creates T-shirts seen in films, and AbbyShot Clothiers has more or less devoted its entire line of clothing to faithfully reproducing coats and others apparel originally seen in video games, movies, and anime.
  • University of Nevada hoodies were sold out from the university online store after pictures of Nevada-tan surfaced. Nevada-tan is the Internet nickname for a Japanese girl who murdered a classmate in 2004, deriving from a widely published photograph of her wearing a University of Nevada hoodie. The store temporarily withdrew the hoodie from sale after learning the reason for the sudden increase in demand.
  • A bizarre example of the news having this effect: following the revelation that former Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko had been poisoned with the radioactive element polonium, a Polish restaurant in Sheffield called Polonium saw its bookings skyrocket. This is probably the result of Sheffielders Googling the element and finding the website of the restaurant in the search.
  • When Chef Paul Prudhomme first introduced his famous recipe for blackened redfish, it became so popular that it put the redfish on the endangered species list.
  • Major sports events every year inspire thousands of people to discover their inner athlete and suddenly take up said sport, only to give it up a couple of weeks after said event is over. Happens very prominently with less popular recreational sports such as tennis (try getting a public court when Wimbledon is on in the UK).
  • U.S. presidents, have been known to affect demand for things they like, but John F. Kennedy was one of the biggest. When word circulated that he could read 1600 words per minute, attendance in speed-reading courses went up. He also listed From Russia with Love as one of his favorite books in Life; it instantly became a best-seller, piqued American interest in James Bond, and ensured that it would be the next Bond novel adapted to film. He's even credited with "killing the hat" by not appearing in public with one, although that one's apocryphal — the hat was already in decline long before he became President, and he did wear one to his inauguration (only to take it off for his "Ask Not" speech).
  • For a number of years now, has been defictionalizing its most popular April Fools' Day jokes. Such products include the 8-bit tie, the Grow Your Own 1-Up Mushroom, the Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt, and Canned Unicorn Meat. But perhaps their most famous was the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag, named after the creature from The Empire Strikes Back whose stomach Han and Luke slice open to hide inside for shelter on Hoth.

    Classic Star Wars sleeping bag simulates the warmth of a Tauntaun carcass

  • The 2010 FIFA World Cup (as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup the previous year) had audibly made the Vuvuzela pretty popular among spectators.
  • Athletes have been known to influence hairstyles:
    • The increase of the popularity of men suffering from male pattern baldness shaving their heads could be traced to the decision of basketball legend Michael Jordan shaving his head for that reason.
    • In Brazil, soccer player Ronaldo also shaved his head. He also gave the world this horrible haircut◊ (compared to Cascão/Smudge◊ of local comic Monica's Gang), which inspired children to imitate him.
    • In the U.K., David Beckham's hair was the source of many such fashions, including the mohawk he wore in the 90s and his skinhead look in the early 2000s.
  • On February 2, 2011, knitting blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee posted an entry about her wonderful new mittens, which she had knitted from mawata (silk hankies) obtained from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. By February 12, Blue Moon's page of roving (fibers for spinning) had no entry for mawata, only a plaintive note urging eager knitters to be patient while they caught up with "overwhelming demand".
    • This is actually fairly common- In the same vein as Being Farked, one can be "Harlotted"; a yarn or pattern Stephanie uses becomes an incredibly in demand product.
  • Three Wolf Moon: This ordinary (albeit cool-looking) T-shirt is probably one of the most popular products on all of, and it's all thanks to one parody review.
  • Some specialist software used by British city councils is now undergoing this trope due to
  • When NBA player Jason Collins came out the closet—becoming the first openly gay athlete in one of America's "Big Four" major leagues—he revealed that the reason he wears the number 98 is to commemorate Matthew Shepherd, a gay college student whose brutal murder in 1998 led to the passing of hate crime laws in the US. After making that announcement, his Brooklyn Nets jersey became the biggest seller on the NBA's website.
  • A morbid example of this: whenever a high-profile mass shooting occurs in the United States, not only do gun sales typically go up, but sales of the specific model of gun used in the shooting skyrocket even further. Sales of the Glock 19, for instance, shot up after a would-be assassin used one to badly wound Representative Gabrielle Giffords and kill six others at a campaign rally, as did sales of AR-15 rifles after the Sandy Hook killer used one. The reason for this is fear that incoming gun control legislation will make it impossible to get that weapon down the line, leading many gun enthusiasts to feel that they need to get one as soon as possible. Indeed, the connection between left-wing electoral success and surges in gun sales — and, conversely, right-wing electoral success and hard times for the firearms industrynote In the US, gun control is generally held to be a left-wing issue, and opposition to such is generally held to be a right-wing issue. There are exceptions in both directions, of course. — is so well-known that a (possibly tongue-in-cheek) conspiracy theory claims that gun and ammo manufacturers are secretly backing ineffectual anti-gun politicians and activists in order to invoke this, exploiting fear of gun control to drive sales.


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