The Acme Corporation is a fictional corporation that exists in several cartoons, films and TV series, most significantly in the Looney Tunes universe. It appeared most prominently in the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons, which made Acme famous for outlandish and downright dangerous products that fail catastrophically at the worst possible times.
The company name is ironic since the word acme is derived from Greek (ακμή; English transliteration: acmē) meaning the peak, zenith or prime, and products from the fictional Acme Corporation are both generic and tend to fail.
One of the first appearances of the Acme Corporation was in Looney Tunes in a Buddy cartoon (Buddy's Bug Hunt). It also appeared in the Egghead cartoon Count Me Out in which Egghead purchases a "Learn How To Box" kit from Acme. In the Road Runner cartoon Beep, Beep, it was referred as "Acme Rocket-Powered Products, Inc." based in Fairfield, New Jersey. Another early appearance was as the "Acme Jewelery Co." in Harold Lloyd's silent film "Grandma's Boy" in 1922.
The company is never clearly defined but appears to be a conglomerate which produces everything and anything imaginable, no matter how elaborate or extravagant—none of which works as desired or expected. An example is the Acme Giant Rubber Band, subtitled "(For Tripping Road Runners)", which would appear to be produced specifically for Wile E. Coyote.
While their products leave much to be desired, Acme delivery service is second to none; Wile E. can merely drop an order into a mailbox (or enter an order on a website, as in the Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie), and have the product in his hands within seconds.
One exception was the car in the 1953 Looney Tunes cartoon, Bugs and Thugs, which worked perfectly until Bugs Bunny lured the robbers onto a railroad crossing when a train was coming. Bugs described the car earlier to the police as a " '52 Acme - straight eight - overhead valves - with California license plates!" As Bugs was shown repairing the car after the train wreck, it was shown with a front disc brake, 20 years before they were commonly available on American cars.
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