April 18, 2014

Top 5: Bankruptcy References in Pop Culture

by Kim Schmittel


In no particular order, here are my Top 5 favorite references (overt or implied) to bankruptcy law in pop culture:

1. Michael Scott "Declares" Bankruptcy

Filing a petition might be easy, but it's not this easy...

2. Homer Simpson's Company Animotion Declares "Super-Duper Bankruptcy"

Kent Brockman: "Turning to the stock market, animotion is up an eighth..."

Homer: "Yes!"

Kent Brockman: "After plunging 75 points this morning."

Homer: "I hope plunging means up, and 75 means 200."

Kent Brockman: "The firm declared super-duper bankruptcy. Which is terrible news for the company's only stockholder..."

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3. Conan O'Brien's Parade of Offensive Stereotypes Laments Sbarro's Chapter 11

4. It's a Wonderful Life -- Bailey Building & Loan

One of things that caused the run on Bailey Building & Loan was Uncle Billy losing an envelope of deposits, prompting George Bailey to erupt: "Where's that money, you stupid, silly old fool? Where's the money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal, and prison!"

Its A Wonderful Life Movie Poster
It's unclear whether George meant bankruptcy for himself or for the Building & Loan. Even less clear is whether the B&L would have been eligible for bankruptcy protection under the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 ("banking corporations" were ineligible). It definitely would not be eligible under Section 109 of the Bankruptcy Code (specifically excluding "building and loan associations") from bankruptcy eligibility.

5. Ray Charles -- Busted

The great Ray Charles tells us about personal financial issues...

Am I missing any other good ones?