Over the years, many fictional businesses have graced our film and television screens, and even the pages of our favorite books.
Sometimes, we're too wrapped up in our favorite characters or the storyline to pay much attention to them. But other times, without these fictional companies, there wouldn't even be a plot. These businesses range from fast-food restaurants and family-owned shops to giant tech companies, and we're sure that fans everywhere would love to pay them a visit.
So, what if you could try a Krabby Patty in real life, see an up-and-coming band play at the Smash Club or sip coffee on the famous couch from "Friends"? Here are 13 fictional businesses we wish were real.
Bob's Burgers ("Bob's Burgers")
Bob's Burgers is a struggling burger joint run by the Belcher family. The restaurant doesn't always bring in a lot of customers, but with the help of his optimistic wife Linda and their loving but slightly awkward children Tina, Gene and Louise, Bob keeps the business afloat. Every day, Bob makes a new, creative "Burger of the Day" with a punny name, like the "Pepper Don't Preach" burger. Bob's Burgers may not be a real restaurant you can visit, but thanks to blogger Cole Bowden (the man behind the wildly popular Tumblr "The Bob's Burgers Experiment"), soon you'll be able to make many of the show's delicious recipes at home with The Bob's Burgers Cookbook.
The Smash Club ("Full House")
Back in the '90s, the Smash Club — a nightclub that had been abandoned and then inherited and fixed up by the impossibly cool Jesse Katsopolis, aka Uncle Jesse — was the hottest fictional spot around. Uncle Jesse fought hard to get a loan and restore the club to its former glory (with some cool modern updates) so that bands could perform there like he had with his own band, Jesse and the Rippers, and the venture was a total success. Teens and adults alike loved the Smash Club; too bad it doesn't actually exist. And with "Fuller House" (the hit show's recently announced reboot) on its way, we're wishing the Smash Club were real more than ever.
The Krusty Krab ("SpongeBob SquarePants")
The Krusty Krab doesn't exactly have the most appealing name for a restaurant, but it's easily one of the most popular places in Bikini Bottom, the undersea city that SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends (and The Krusty Krab's money-hungry owner, Mr. Krabs) call home. The fast-food restaurant is home to the Krabby Patty — a burger so popular that neighboring restaurant owner Plankton's only goal in life is to steal the secret formula from the Krusty Krab so that he can be more successful. Plus, SpongeBob is one of the best fry cooks around, and even the always-miserable Krusty Krab cashier, Squidward, who'd never had a Krabby Patty before, was blown away the first time he tried one. If you're willing to travel, you can kind of visit The Krusty Krab by heading to Salta Burgers in Palestine, which was designed to look just like the fictional restaurant. While it looks cool (and we're glad it's not actually underwater), we're still wondering if Salta Burgers' owners got the secret formula from Mr. Krabs or if they're just winging it. [7 Fictional TV Bosses We Wish Were Real ]
Pizza Planet ("Toy Story")
Pizza Planet, the popular family-friendly restaurant from Pixar's "Toy Story" series, combines two things every kid loves: pizza (of course) and space. The restaurant, which was shaped like the planet Saturn and even featured a giant rocket ship outside, was home to an awesome space-themed arcade and the claw game that introduced viewers to the series' iconic toy alien characters. Pizza Planet was so dedicated to the space-age theme that there were robots guarding the entrance to the restaurant, and even the soda dispensers were shaped like aliens. Walt Disney World visitors can stop by Pizza Planet restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios, but it's not quite the same as the movie version. If Pixar's version of Pizza Planet were real, we're positive sci-fi fans everywhere would be thrilled to grab a slice and play Whack-a-Alien.
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes ("Harry Potter")
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Orlando in Florida has done an excellent job of bringing the famous wizard's universe to life, but Weasley's Wizard Wheezes just isn't the same without actual magic. Ever the practical jokers, Fred and George Weasley (brothers of Harry's best friend Ron) created numerous products for the amusement of their fellow Hogwarts students and eventually opened a joke shop with seed money provided by Harry himself. But they don't just sell illness-inducing candies and trick wands. The Weasley twins also developed useful things like Extendable Ears (great for eavesdropping) and a 10-second pimple vanisher that could benefit Muggles like us.
Dunder Mifflin ("The Office")
Nine seasons of "The Office" gave viewers the chance to be a fly on the wall at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, a paper company staffed by quirky employees and incompetent managers — most notably, Michael Scott. Although the company goes through frequent corporate transitions, they throw some great holiday parties (Diwali, anyone?), and the daily antics of Dwight and Jim are enough to make even a boring paper sales job entertaining.
Central Perk ("Friends")
Bet you won't find live music and a cozy, suede couch at your local Starbucks. The artsy and intimate Central Perk would be a refreshing change of pace when you needed a midday pick-me-up. The "Friends" characters were seen at this coffee shop in almost every episode of the show's 10 seasons, so we're guessing it must serve a pretty good cup of joe, too. And, in 2014, fans saw their dreams come true temporarily when a pop-up Central Perk shop launched in Manhattan to mark the 20th anniversary of the show's premiere. James Michael Tyler, the actor who played Central Perk's snarky Dutch manager on the show, even made an appearance. Unfortunately, the pop-up shop was open for only a month, leaving us wishing it were a permanent fixture.
Angel Investigations ("Angel")
Any company whose slogan is "We Help the Helpless" has to be doing something right. The leader of this supernatural detective agency is the mysterious Angel, the "vampire with a soul," who, guided by omnipotent external powers, keeps the streets of Los Angeles safe from ill-willed vampires and other demons with his team. It would be a real comfort to know that there's a superbuff reformed creature of the night waiting to save us from evil things lurking in the shadows. We'll just ignore the part where he gets mixed up with an evil law firm and brings about the apocalypse.
Stark Industries ("Iron Man")
Wearable tech is steadily gaining popularity, but nothing in the real-world market even comes close to the Iron Man suit. We appreciate that the "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" CEO nixed his company's weapons operations in favor of building a supercool remote-controlled suit of armor, even if he was the only one who got to use it. But hey, when you're Robert Downey Jr. — er, Tony Stark — you can basically do whatever you want.
The Acme Corporation ("Looney Tunes")
Many real and fictional companies have taken the name Acme over the years, but none of them is quite as famous (or, rather, infamous) as The Acme Corporation. Of all the Looney Tunes characters, Wile E. Coyote is most associated with Acme, purchasing and using the company's wide range of faulty products in his attempts to catch the Road Runner. Could you make any practical purchases from this company if it were real? Sure — if you're buying for someone you hate.
Wayne Enterprises ("Batman")
No list of great fictional companies would be complete without the one that created the Batmobile. The Bruce Wayne-owned conglomerate is probably best known for its industrial research and development branch (the one that makes all of Batman's sweet gear) and its charity arm, the Wayne Foundation. According to the Batman Wikia page, Wayne Enterprises also has holdings in biotech, shipping, entertainment, electronics and almost every other industry imaginable. Not bad, Batman. Not bad.
Los Pollos Hermanos ("Breaking Bad")
Some front organizations are pathetic, half-hearted attempts to look like legitimate businesses, but we have to hand it to Los Pollos Hermanos: Gus Fring knows how to run a restaurant. Aside from the shady dealings and meth connections, we're all for a fast-food chain selling chicken that's "slow cooked to perfection." We're not sure how the restaurants would fare after their owner's fate (no spoilers), but if a responsible person who isn't a drug kingpin took over, we think Los Pollos could give Colonel Sanders a run for his money.
The Bluth Company ("Arrested Development")
Following the triumphant return of "Arrested Development" on Netflix, the infamous Bluth Company has re-entered the pop culture-consciousness (though, for true fans, it never really left). The Bluths are a veritable train wreck on every level, and perhaps that's why we'd want to see their family business in the real world. There are valuable business lessons to be learned from a corporation that defrauds its investors, mistakenly hires a company hooker and commits "light treason." A real-life Bluth Company would have the potential for an endless happy hour, though: When Lucille's around, a bottle of vodka is never far behind. And if all else fails with the Bluth Company, just remember — there's always money in the banana stand.
Originally published on Aug. 19, 2013. Updated on June 2, 2015. Business News Daily Assistant Editor Nicole Fallon also contributed to this story.