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Running is useless, there is no escape.

"These guys put their logo on more things than Nike does. How do they expect to remain secret when they make every effort to mark their equipment with a unique, unmistakable symbol?"

In television, as in real life, any decent-sized organization will have a logo or symbol to identify itself. Said symbolism will appear when needed to identify the group, whether it's a discreet corporate logo on the building or an imposing banner behind the Diabolical Mastermind when he makes his world-threatening rants.

Some groups, however, carry this to a ridiculous extreme, especially if a megalomaniac Villain is in charge. When this trope is in play, the design will be wantonly slapped on everything in sight, down to the most mundane items and meaningless locations. Bathroom doors, coffee mugs, staplers, golf carts, Highly Conspicuous Uniforms — nothing is out of the question, no matter how trivial or impractical it may be.

This is true even in an Elaborate Underground Base or a Supervillain Lair, where the only people present are supposed to be the Minions and the Goons; it's almost as if the Evil Overlord was worried his legion of Mooks would forget where they were if they weren't reminded every two minutes.

Note that this trope is not limited to Villains or Evilness. Good guys love branding, too.

Also see Highly-Conspicuous Uniform (when the sigil is overused on the Mooks' clothing), Malevolent Mugshot (when a Villain puts their own image everywhere) and Conspiracy Placement (when the Ancient Conspiracy hides clues among the Muggles). May Contain Evil.

Not to be confused with Instant Runes displayed by the copious dozens.

Examples of Sigil Spam include:

Anime & Manga

  • The Poké Ball design is absolutely everywhere in the Pokémon anime.
    • Team Rocket's big red R gets a lot of play too, particularly in the anime.
  • In Naruto, pretty much every single character is wearing the symbol of their respective villages due to the fact that they are the equivalent of soldiers. Even the ones who have been exiled or gone permanently AWOL wear defaced ones.
    • Justified in that, as per the name, they are called "forehead protectors": metal guards for the head. It's a case of function being made elaborate by form.
      • Except that many characters chose not to wear theirs on their foreheads.
  • NERV does this in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! OVAs, Doctor Clay imprints his personal mark on virtually everything he owns. Washu knows this, and is able to locate the bridge of his spaceship because it is right behind said mark on the hull.
  • Soul Eater: The Shiningami mask in Death City.
  • In Digimon Adventure, the Digivice.
  • In an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh, a milk carton bears the Kaiba Corp logo.

Card Games

  • The guilds from the Ravnica block of Magic: The Gathering all have their own signets, though how they're placed varies. Gruul signets are illegible territorial markings drawn in what the Gruul Signet card describes as blood, sweat and muck, Simic signets are placed on all their artificial lifeforms as a trademark, Orzhov signets are either carried, indicating a master, or tattooed, indicating a slave. Izzet signets are the most megalomaniacal, as they're frequently redesigned to look more and more like a vanity portrait of the guild leader.
    • Any guild-aligned card in Ravnica block (in the guild's combination of colors, in one color with an ability in the other, or using the guild's unique ability) had a transparent version of the guild sigil (except the Izzet card Hypervolt Grasp, which has the Gruul signet by mistake). Likewise, "snow" permanents in Coldsnap had a transparent snow-mana symbol (a snowflake).
    • Any spell from the Invasion black with a kicker cost had either all or a part of the Invasion symbol on it, depending on the color of mana in said cost.
    • Also, the Phyrexian symbol and the Mask of Pain (Yawgmoth's symbol) are often used on cards related to Phyrexia. The Mask of Pain appears in the Nemesis logo and was later used as the expansion symbol for Apocalypse.
      • Speaking of the Invasion block, the Coalition symbol was the symbol for Invasion; parts of it appear in a cycle of cards in Planeshift. Naturally, it also appears on Flagbearer cards.
    • More recently, the planeswalker symbol is used is planeswalker-related art (but not on the planeswalker cards themselves), as well as in the Magic 2010 logo.
    • And in Scars of Mirrodin, the cards themselves are getting it: With the exception of the five basic lands and three planeswalkers, every card in the set has either the symbol of the now-native Mirrans, or the before-mentioned Phyrexian symbol (resembling the Greek letter phi Φ) in the background of the textbox.
      • Mirrodin Beseiged makes the Phyrexian phi superimposed on the Mirran sun its expansion symbol, and New Phyrexia makes the phi itself the expansion symbol.
    • Innistrad has the symbol of the archangel Avacyn on nearly every human-related card. It fits better if you imagine it in the place of a Christian cross.
  • The Koa'ki Meiru monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh all feature their emblem somewhere on their person.
  • The Star Wars Customizable Card Game made Rebel and Imperial symbols their card backs, as well as the symbol for characters of that alignment. Lightsabers were used for Jedi/Sith Masters and Force icons.
  • Most editions of the Illuminati card game by Steve Jackson Games do a variation: The Illuminati symbol (an eye in the pyramid, sometimes simplified to a dot in a triangle) appears on nearly every card, usually hidden.

Comic Books

  • Occurs regularly in Marvel comic books whenever the terrorist group HYDRA appears.
  • Batman. Oh dear lord, Batman and his obsession with making everything look like a bat.
    • His enemies also tend to be, shall we say, "strongly themed" in their choice of accessories, lairs, vehicles...
  • Hi, Cross Gen! The two houses of the First have their own respective swirl emblems, and the power-inducing Sigils are the two swirls put together to form a red-and-yellow yin-yang.
    • Literally inverted by Big Bad Charon when he makes his own "inverse sigil" - the ligis - out of the negative space from the original sigil, and empowers a bunch of test subjects with it.
  • Lex Luthor is a genius. So why do the killer robots that attack Superman so often have the Lexcorp logo on them? (To be fair, he can usually "prove" they were stolen, or their release was a lab technician exceeding his authority, but still...)
  • In DC Comics' Atari Force, the Atari "fuji" logo gets incorporated nearly everywhere, especially in the first series. Even the design of the Scanner One spaceship is a silhouette of the logo.
  • In Tintin, the symbol of the Bordurian regime -a circumflex accent, which is also a stylized representation of the dictator Kûrvi-Tasch's moustache- is absolutely all over the country, from flags and official buildings to military rank insignia, hotel lamps and car radiators. Of course, this is a Shout-Out to Real Life Soviet Russia.
  • Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy mini-series for Marvel Comics features Hexus the Sentient Corporation, an evil alien "social parasite" that spreads "logo-spores" throughout the atmosphere of its target planet. The spores infect people, forming a corporation which then consumes rival corporations and seduces whole populations through hypnotic ad campaigns, to the point where it literally owns everything and everyone on its host-planet. It then 'brands' the planet with its enormous 'X'-logo and feeds of the planet's resources, leaving behind a dead husk of a world covered in Hexus logos.


  • In G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra, the M.A.R.S. logo is plastered on everything remotely associated with Arms Dealer James McCullen, down to the elevator doors of his secret underwater Arctic base.
    • The killswitch for the nanomite warheads have a screen saver with an animated logo!
  • In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil's embossed logo can be found on nearly anything — makeup cases, motorized scooters, record turntables, even the doors of Dr. Evil's secret moon rocket.
  • Parodied in Spaceballs as part of a Take That against "moichendaising", as everything on the villains' spaceship (Spaceball One) is branded with the Spaceballs logo, down to "Spaceballs the toilet paper" and "Spaceballs the bedsheet."
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has the VFD eye symbol everywhere, even as tattoos on the ankles of their members.
  • In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, the OSS logo is so ubiquitous that it's a Running Gag.
  • In the Hitman movie, all of the gear that the super-secret Organization gives its assassins is emblazoned with the group's logo. More than that, all the gear is made with their distinctive design aesthetic, like they're Apple.
    • It's partially justified in the original games, as the fleur-de-lis Agent 47 uses was originally Doctor Ort-Meyer's logo and has no affiliation to 47's current employers, the covert International Contract Agency.
  • The Hellboy movies feature the BPRD logo on everything, and even has "BRPD" embroidered on their flak jackets. For an organisation so secret that they don't even want people asking "What does BRPD stand for?"
  • A more subtle version was done in the original X-Men movie. Not so much the logo, but X's were put everywhere they could, particularly the underground doors. Magneto, by contrast, had a lot of "O"s everywhere.
  • Umbrella was especially guilty of this in Resident Evil: Afterlife. Did Wesker hit the "0" key a couple extra times when he was ordering the static clings or... what? Seriously.
  • In the Apocalypse film series by Cloud Ten Pictures, the Evil Empire One Nation Earth logo, which is based on the Eye of Providence pyramid design of the Great Seal of the United States, tends to pop up everywhere during the Tribulation.
  • A bizarre one in Armageddon, where the shuttles are rushed out in order to make the date of the mission - yet feature large decals with their names all over the interior. Apparently the NASA art department fears not the end of the world.
  • Lampshaded in Tomorrow Never Dies, in which James Bond makes a risky HALO jump into waters that are discovered at the last minute not to be international, but to belong to Vietnam. For obvious political reasons, this causes immediate concern for Bond's CIA contact, who asks if there's any US logos on Bond's equipment. His mood is not improved when the answer turns out to be that it's plastered all over everywhere on him.
  • Jurassic Park does this, with the Logo appearing on the vehicles and merchandise throughout the park


  • Thomas Pynchon's The Crying Of Lot 49 uses the Trystero muted post horn icon for both this trope and Conspiracy Placement.
  • The Crimson Eye tends to end up on just about anything that is both evil and magical in The Dark Tower. And even some things that aren't magical.

Live-Action TV

  • Lost: The Dharma Initiative is probably the epitome of this trope: their logos are found everywhere on the Island. Playing cards, ping-pong balls, chocolate cookies - everything inside their stations has a Dharma logo.
    • It is even present on live sharks! And on random doors embedded in rocks that don't lead anywhere. And on all of the supplies. Except the Apollo bars - those are produced by the Hanso Foundation who also run the Dharma Initiative, so there's no need to alter their packaging.
  • The logo of The Company in Heroes, half of the famous DNA double-helix, appears repeatedly. It's uncertain if this is Sigil Spam or a Running Gag, however.
    • Word of God says that it has no particular significance to the show's mythology.
  • Power Rangers SPD puts the SPD logo on every random, non-Phlebotinumized item belonging to the organization, down to a shovel that Syd had brought along. Her CD player has the logo in three places. Even their finishing moves shifted the view to a background made entirely out of SPD logos!
    • The following season, Power Rangers Mystic Force, is at least as bad. The stylized "M" logos are everywhere, incorporated into chestplates, visors... It's even worse if you consider other gear and designs that don't match the logo but are still M-shaped.
    • Way back in season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Lord Zedd had a Z on his staff, and his Putty Patrollers had a Z on their chests and knees. The Z on their chests made them break apart like crash test dummies.
  • Torchwood. They put the name on everything from the SUV to their guns. Suffice it to say, Torchwood's existence is not a very well-kept secret.
  • Solitary does this with VAL's green octagon.
  • The Ori in Stargate SG-1 use their symbol for everything, their crusaders' weapons, the fire pits they execute nonbelievers in, the power sources in their ships, even their ships themselves follow the pattern.
  • The episode of Mission Impossible "The Killer" underlines that it is actually expected of some industries like hotels: When setting up a fake hotel, the good guys are shown applying the hotel's name "Raeburn" in initial miniature on menus and glasses. And they have to do it all in less than 15 minutes because the villain just named the hotel and will soon arrive.[1]
  • Though it is probably more for legal reasons than anything else, Myth Busters do this with just about every material they use that isn't going to get blown up/crushed/shot in the next five minutes. They even Lampshade it every now and then:

  Adam: I only drink Mythbusters brand cola!

  • UFO's super secret SHADO puts its name and logo on all of its vehicles, even though SHADO's existence itself is secret.
  • The Watchers of Highlander the Series had the double layer Masquerade that their organisation was secret, and kept the target of their watching - the Immortals - secret, too. But they had their logo tattooed on their wrists. Even putting on one's shoulder would be more inconspicuous.
  • Even worse is a secret organisation called The Dawn, from a short-lived mid-Nineties series about a "Federal Bio-Crisis Unit". Since their plans to wipe out humanity were so secret, they could be identified by elaborate tattoos on the palm of their hands.
  • An actual subtle version, as they're never actually mentioned in-'verse, but Blue Sun in Firefly is omnipresent on every central planet. It also adorns much of Jayne's clothing (including a shirt which River promptly slashes up...while Jayne's wearing it.)

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000's Imperium slaps Aquilas on everything it can, and also seems fond of skulls, whether real or modelled. Individual Space Marine Chapters, particularly the Ultramarines, are fond of this with their Chapter badges; in an image of an Ultramarine from the Deathwatch supplement Rites of Battle there are at least sixteen visible badges on his armour. Chaos forces, similarly, like to apply the eight-pointed star of Chaos and the icons of the Dark Gods wherever they can, and also use skulls often.

Video Games

  • The Umbrella Corporation's logo is everywhere in the Resident Evil games, and even pops up in RE5, even though the game takes place several years after the corporation has been outed and dissolved.
  • Killzone: The Helghast symbol is everywhere. Truth in Television, as it is a fascist government, and similar governments have done so before.
    • More a case of Putting on the Reich. Other fascist governments were nowhere close the level of Nazi Sigil Spam. Not to mention that many fascist governments did not have any distinctive symbols and were simply using regular flags and emblems of their country.
  • The UAC logo in Doom from door to blue carpet and even screensaver.
  • The Triforce in the various Legend of Zelda games, especially in Ocarina of Time.
  • The Gear symbol in Gears of War. There's even a bridge supported by beams stylized to look like gears.
  • Half-Life's Black Mesa scientific research corporation puts their logo on almost everything. Justified as their complex is a top-secret Elaborate Underground Base and they don't want anything escaping.
  • Kingdom Hearts. The Heartless emblem and the Nobody sigil both show up on pretty much anything connected to their groups. Hell, even that crown design gets around. There's also the classic Mickey Mouse logo, which shows up everywhere in Disney Castle.
    • One of the pattern options for your gummi ship offers three different sigils to spam at once: the Mickey Mouse symbol, the Kingdom crown, and a keyhole symbol that we might as well call Sora's heraldry and be done with it.
    • Note that the symbols on the enemies actually do serve a storyline purpose: many heartless varieties were artificially created, so their symbol was included in order to determine the experiments from the natural "pureblood" variety. The Nobodies all belong to one group and use that mark as a means to identify with it.
    • Birth by Sleep adds the Unversed logo and reveals that the Heartless and Nobody symbols are both derived from the Mark of Mastery symbol found in the Land of Departure.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's Arch Enemy Dr Robotnik is particularly guilty of this. His logo (his face) appears on many of his airships, robots, weapons, missiles, space stations, and even his bedding. Many of his robots are shaped like, or modelled on him in some way too.
  • Pokémon: The Poké Ball symbol is so iconic that if any player of the games sees an unintentional instance of it, they will automatically make the association.
    • This sometimes leads one to question the design of Google Chrome's icon, as it looks eerily similar...
    • Or these lights outside the New York City subway entrances.
      • Heck, the Pokémon Foongus even surprises people and Pokémon by looking like a pokeball.
      • The same goes for Voltorb and Electrode.
  • In Deus Ex, every group in the game puts their logo on every computer system that they own. Even the Illuminati. Also, the MJ12 labs have a gigantic statue of a hand reaching around the globe in the front hall, which makes a very nice backdrop whenever our villains need to foreshadow something.
    • At least they don't put the logo on stuff that's meant to be shown in public; having your logo pop up on computers inside your secure base guarded by paramilitary types with assault guns makes more sense than plastering it all over the front door.
    • Additionally, UNATCO is a completely overt agency and Chinese Triads are as overt as it goes for an oriental crime syndicates.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Cerberus puts their logo in nearly everything they own including their uniforms, ships and facilities, both in their interior and exterior. There are several facilities that have dozens of logos every three feet apart on the walls as though it's some kind of wallpaper pattern. Fridge Logic kicks in when you realize that they are considered terrorists by the Alliance and Citadel Council. You'd think they'd keep a low profile.
    • Fanfic and Epileptic Trees attribute the symbol to Cerberus' front company, Cord-Hislop Aerospace.
    • The Normandy SR-2 is officially flagged as Cerberus, even, as can be heard in Tali's loyalty mission. And Jack recognises the symbol as Cerberus upon first visual contact.
    • This is all the more obvious because in Mass Effect 1 Cerberus did keep a low profile, their operations staffed with troops that looked like regular mercs, and the logo that is attached to Cerberus items obtained by cheat codes is not the same as the one used in Mass Effect 2.
  • Nintendo is pretty consistent about this. It's pretty telling that in Super Smash Bros, every character or group of characters has a symbol that is pretty easily identifiable. The Mario series has the Mushroom of course, The Legend of Zelda has the Triforce, Pokémon has the Poké Ball, and so on.
    • While speaking of Mario, Yoshi has his own symbol: An egg.
  • In Portal, just about every object has the Aperture Science logo on it, from the storage cubes, to the chairs, to the custom computer cases and even tins of beans.
  • In Perfect Dark, the weapons-manufacturing Mega Corp dataDyne likes plastering their "dD" logo on all their architecture (admittedly it is quite a cool logo). Not to mention the fact that the Carrington Institute's logo appears on Joanna Dark's Spy Catsuit (which I'm sure would make her extremely plausibly deniable if she was ever captured!).
  • In Strife, the Order has many, many images of their Sigil. The Sigil is actually an ancient alien superweapon which you obtain over the course of the game, and you can spam it, but it takes your HP.
  • While the Halo series was almost an aversion of this trope throughout the Trilogy Halo 3: ODST begins to embody it with widespread use of the various logos for the various corporate, government, and AI entities featured in the game. Particularly those of the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Superintendent. Halo: Reach takes Sigil Spam Up to Eleven with the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant stamping their respective logos on everything from side arms to sand bags.
  • Just Cause 2 has the government of Panau's symbol, a white star on a red background, everywhere. Items include electrical generators, oil tanks, water towers, propaganda trailers, gas stations and vehicles. You can and should destroy anything with that symbol on it in order to increase the "chaos" in the game.
  • The Yevon symbol (a stylized angel) is everywhere in Final Fantasy X, along with a Leitmotif. In fact, the Yevon symbol is on the final boss.
  • The sigil of the Elder Gods in Mortal Kombat, a stylised Asian dragon that appears in the game's logo, is everywhere. Many stages have it as some form of decoration, even (or especially) when they have nothing to do with the Elder Gods, the Elder Gods themselves take the form of the dragon in the logo, Shao Kahn has it on his hammer, the koins are in the shape of it, and in Mortal Kombat 9, Liu Kang wears it on his belt. Liu Kang also has a recurring fatality in which he transforms into said dragon due to being the champion of the Elder Gods.
  • The base builder in City of Heroes allows you to do this with your character's Super Team logo while putting their secret base together.
    • Three villain groups in the game, Arachnos, the Fifth Column, and the Council, are fond of slapping their logos on everything in sight as well.
  • The Red Star forces in Heavy Weapon definitely love placing their logo on their bosses and Mooks.
  • While the Nazi memorabilia wall hangings and flags in Wolfenstein 3D are probably to be expected, the swastika, eagle and iron cross level designs are likely less so.
  • Mega Man Star Force: the Murian symbol shows up an awful lot, on pretty much everything that originated in Mu except the Mecha-Mooks.

Web Comics

  • Girl Genius turns the sigil business Up to Eleven:
    • The Wulfenbach family in Girl Genius signs everything with their rook/castle mark, including tube fasteners and bombs.
    • This seems to be par for the course for Spark sigils, since Dr.Bettle's beetle, Heterodyne trilobyte and Sturmvoraus winged cog are just as ubiquitous in their respective towns, appearing on everything from candy toffees to eldritch clockwork horrors. Those people love their mad scientist overlords.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has the alchemic symbol for bismuth, which acts as the semi-official symbol for the Court, and seems to be stamped all over the place — tapestries, doors and windows, notebooks, cabs, other Court technology... the monument to the Court's first dragon slayer. And student clothes that aren't even uniform, like caps.
  • Homestuck has the Spirograph, the Sburb house logo, the Sgrub house logo, John's Green Slime Ghost, Rose's Eldritch Squiddle, Dave's Record (and later a broken version of his record), Jade's Atom symbol, her grandfather's hat/glasses and toothed mustache, the Trolls' 12 zodiac signs, the emblems of Prospit, Derse, Hivebent Prospit, and Hivebent Derse, Barcodes, Becquerel's head, the four card symbols (used for both Troll Romance and the Midnight Crew, apparently by coincidence), the 16 pool balls for every member of the Felt and Lord English's animated pool ball cycle, the triangle fractals, the Frog Head and amphibian symbols, the Dream Self crescent moon, Maplehoof's horseshoe, and a silhouette of Jaspers's head.
    • Recently, the symbols of Breath (two squiggly lines), Light (a sun), Time (a gear), and Space (a vortex) have been showing up a lot. It can be assumed that there are symbols for each of the trolls' elements, too (Mind, Blood, Heart, etc).
      • Mind's symbol has been revealed to be a circle with three wavy, sharply hooked rays.
  • HeretiCorp in Sluggy Freelance. This is done intentionally however, as their logo triggers Oasis's Berserk Button and they're trying to lure her out.
  • Last Res0rt does it a lot, but it's justified because it's the show's logo, so they've got a damned good incentive to push The Merch.
  • Suppression has the logos for the Wight Family and Santris Industries, a Slasher Smile mask and a skull shaped gear respectively. All the Wights wear some trinket with the mask on it and the Gas Mask Mooks wear both symbols.
  • In Exterminatus Now, the extremely secret Mobian Inquisition puts their sigil on everything...including a label saying "Property of the Mobian Inquisition" on their secret agent's spy gear.

 Jamilla: ...I told them it should say "Not Property of the Mobian Inquisition."

Morth: Yes, because that would have fooled me completely.


Web Original

  • The monolithic "secret" criminal organization TAROT, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, slaps their tarot-card logo on pretty much every piece of equipment their agents use. Rifles, helmets, uniforms, armored assault vehicles, aircraft, radios, gym clothes... even the beer served to the agents in their bases has a TAROT logo on the cans.

Western Animation

  • Both the Hive Academy and the Teen Titans from the Teen Titans cartoon use this trope.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz has a jingle for his evil company, Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated.
    • Not only does Doofenshmirtz have a jingle for his evil company, the jingle is customized for every place associated with him.

 "Doofenshmirtz Evil annex!"

"Doofenshmirtz abandoned self-storage!"

"Doofenshmirtz abandoned vacuumcleanerfactory!"

"Doofenshmirtz out in the forest!"

"Doofenshmirtz holding a bucket!"

"Doofenshmirtz Evil is carpeted!"

  • In the cartoon version of Inspector Gadget, M.A.D. was promiscuous with its symbol largely because the protagonist was Too Dumb to Live.
  • Transformers, all incarnations:
    • The Autobot or Decepticon symbols are on every Autobot or Decepticon, often in multiple places. At least this case it's justified for being faction badges. Still kind of odd when the series motto is "Robots In Disguise" and Optimus has a giant Autobot logo on his trailer.
    • Many items belonging to them will also have the logos.
    • The Decepticons have a base that's a giant Decepticon symbol. The base even appears in the IDW comics, where the whole disguise thing is emphasized much more than in any other incarnation. In that case, it's fairly justified, as the base is usually only deployed that openly when the Decepticons figure there's nothing anyone can do about them.
    • Beast Wars even has the Maximal and Predacon symbols in Robo Cam, indicating that our heroes (and villains) are seeing their symbols out of the corner of their eyes 24 hours a day. Less they forget which side they are on...
  • The Hanna-Barbera Pac-Man cartoon works the iconic "missing pizza slice" shape everywhere in the show's world design, including the sun.
  • Painting their symbol on everything is apparently an obsession for the Thundercats, nearly as much as adding the words 'thunder' or 'cat'.
  • The incarnation of Doctor Doom from Fantastic Four: World's greatest heroes loved having a logo of his mask forming a V all over his Supervillain Lair.
  • In the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, The Foot's tendency to plaster its logo everywhere made for a minor wall banger, as the organization's dragon claw symbol was also used in its legitimate operations, meaning that anyone who got a good look at a Foot Ninja would see the symbol adorning the Foot's very visible skyscraper base and put two and two together without effort.

Real Life

  • One criticism of conspiracy theories is that most of them seem to assume that the conspiracy is more concerned with scattering symbols that point to their existence than they are with actually controlling the world.
  • At Walt Disney World, even the manhole covers are emblazoned with the silhouette of Mickey Mouse's head. They're called "Hidden Mickeys" and are more of a Genius Bonus Running Gag--the majority of them are very well hidden.
    • Perhaps the best hidden of these are the islands in the Seven Seas lagoon. The fact that they are a "hidden mickey" is only visible from an aircraft.
    • At DisneyWorld and Disneyland, there is a Buzz Lightyear ride that involved riding through a course of space monsters etc. firing at them to score points. The only spots that would register a hit are the very conspicuously placed Zerg symbols on each target.
  • NASA's 2020 prototype lunar rover. It's a toss-up whether the American flag or the NASA logo wins.
  • Nazi Germany loved those hypnotic spinning swastikas so much they put them on just about everything the state had authority over. Even canned food.
  • In the USSR, stars and hammer-and-sickle symbols where absolutely everywhere. And you'll still see them in present-day Russia. Post-communist authorities initially made a great effort to remove them all, then eventually got tired and gave up.
    • Helped by three facts: a) sometimes it was darn expensive to remove the sigils, and spending the already scarce funds on cosmetic changes when everything goes straight to hell is not the best thing to do, b) virtually every culture- or government-related structure had various related symbols absolutely everywhere, sometimes with every single decoration being filled with them, upping the cost spectacularly, and c) some of the sigils were just plain too awesome to remove (e.g. the stars on the Moscow Kremlin towers, made from ruby glass and fitted with a complex lighting system). Thus, the ones you will get to see are usually the grandest or the most artful examples of Sigil Spam.
  • Three words: Flying Windows screensaver.
    • The Windows key appears on every (non-Macintosh) keyboard since ~1995. This tends to make Linux users not very happy, or most Windows users, for that matter.
    • Likewise, many '80s microcomputers — such as Commodore's, Apple's, and Atari's — had similarly branded keys with various functions. Apple eventually replaced theirs with a symbol that looks like a cloverleaf. (The others just all stopped making computers.)
    • BlackBerry has a variant.
  • This is how the ubiquity of the American flag in the US feels like to foreign visitors.
    • On the same note, the province of Quebec absolutely loves their fleur de lys.
    • Canada is much the same way, putting maple leaves on anything.
    • Texans love to emblazon things with the motif of the Texas flag, put Lone Stars on everything, and even produce things shaped like the state itself, right down to tortilla chips and Belgian waffles. Texans love Texas.
    • Even Americans can feel this way about Wearing a Flag on Your Head.
  • Cigarette ads in Indonesia, to a downright absurd degree. In most streets, you literally cannot look around without spotting at least a half dozen cigarette ads.
  • The government of American Samoa is actually required to put their official seal on nearly everything they own or make. This includes school buses, a memorial to an airshow accident, and doctor's notes from the government-run hospital.
  • The fleur-de-lis symbol in Louisiana. It's especially noticeable in the stuff they sell in gift shops.
  • You can throw a rock in Mexico at random and odds are it will hit an eagle-eating-a-snake crest.
  1. He chose one hotel at random but is taken to the bugged one in taxi.