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The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Forbes Fictional 15 181

DevanJedi writes "Forbes has created a list of 15 wealthy fictional characters with hilarious biographies describing the sources of their riches. Lex Luthor, C. Montgomery Burns and Bruce Wayne figure in the list, among others. J.R. Ewing was dropped from the list this year after 'Ewing Oil filed for bankruptcy in the wake of massive accounting scandal.'"
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Forbes Fictional 15

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  • by Eightyford ( 893696 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:50AM (#14173625) Homepage
    hilarious biographies

    That's a bit of an exaggeration.
    • Problem: all the journalists are still drunk after the christmas party, and an edition needs to be written.

      Solution: a list of 15 wealthy fictional characters with hilarious biographies
  • by PlayfullyClever ( 934896 ) <playfull@playfullyclever.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:51AM (#14173628) Homepage Journal
    History of Santa Claus

    1689--Spanish-German explorer Santa Claus discovers the North Pole, and establishes a small base camp.

    1691--Because of harsh and meager living conditions, Claus' crew abandons him.

    1692--Claus is rescued by the Viking ship Hvorfor. He returns to Europe, bringing some items along with him from the North Pole. He finds he is able to sell them quite easily, making a small profit.

    1703--Claus saves up enough money to buy a small ship and crew, and returns to the North Pole. Upon arriving, he finds his base camp, half-buried but still intact.

    1704--Claus returns to Europe with a shipload of North Pole artifacts, and is successful in selling them. He makes enough profit to increase his crew, and buys building materials to expand his polar base.

    1705--Claus returns again to the North Pole, and builds quarters for him and his crew, and sets up the Polar Exports Company.

    1716--After six shiploads of exports, the European market is flooded with polar artifacts, as well as the phony ones making charlatans rich. Seeing this decline, Claus decides to invest his money by starting a toy company in his native Germany.

    1720--Claus Toys becomes the largest toy company in Germany, but only because of Claus' underhanded business dealings. (It was also rumored that Claus was dealing with enemy countries as well). Competitors urged government officials to begin an investigation.

    1721--Enough evidence is found, and charges are drawn up against the Claus Toys Company. Claus himself refuses to release his records.

    1722--The German Supreme Court finds Claus guilty of tax evasion and of treason. When news of this breaks, Claus' employees all turn against him and his company.

    1723--Claus is exiled to Sicily, and shortly before leaving, he absconds with all of the company's funds.

    1724--A search party is sent to the Mediterranean to recover the funds, however, Claus hears of this ahead of time, and he and his Sicilian wife flee for their lives. (Some say he went into Northern Africa, but it is generally assumed that this was only a ruse to lure the searchers off course. He is believed to have returned to his North Pole base).

    1725--Claus II is born en route to the North Pole.

    1725-1734--The Claus' lay low at the North Pole. Claus teaches his son the arts of toy making and business dealings.

    1735--Rumor has it that Claus has hired Scandinavian builders to construct a castle for him at the North Pole, making use of almost half of the company funds.

    1739--The castle is finished, and is one of the largest in the world. Claus II reaches his fifteenth birthday, and in the same year, Claus' wife dies, accidentally falling from a balcony in one of the castle's great halls.

    1740--Claus, mourning his wife, becomes increasingly ill.

    1745--Santa Claus II becomes of age, and begins taking care of the castle and of his sick father.

    1747--Using the remaining company funds, Claus II builds a small city around the castle to attract workers and craftsmen.

    1748--Word of the North Pole settlement reaches Europe. The Elves of Eastern Europe, quickly becoming political outcasts and striving for a better life, begin immigrating in waves to the North Pole.

    1753--All the elves have left Eastern Europe and have become firmly established at the North Pole. Claus II begins his father's toy company once again, with an estimated 30,000 elves employed. Claus I dies, at age 89.

    1755--The North Pole officially becomes a nation, and Claus II and his wife take the throne. The toy business continues to flourish, and the elves enjoy prosperity. Claus III is born.

    1757--The great stables are built, and scientists are secretly hired by Claus II to begin an ambitious project--that of breeding and training reindeer to fly.

    1773--The flying reindeer are achieved and become Claus II and III's major form of transportation.

    1774--A mutant reindeer, named Rudolf, is born whose nose emits light. He b
    • The masterplan:

      1) make loads of toys
      2) give them all away
      3) ???
      4) Profit!!!
    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @04:06PM (#14174721) Journal
      You're missing the latest history!

      2002--Communism fails utterly at the North Pole due to the nature of the elves. Claus VII, flying clockwise around the earth making the Christmas rounds, collides with Anti-Claus, who was flying counterclockwise. A huge explosion and blinding flash of light occurs, leading scientists to believe that they annihilated each other.

      2007--The North Pole becomes a democracy, run wholly by the elves. Christmas is no longer commercialized or exploited. Happiness is finally achieved throughout the kingdom.

      2011--It is discovered that Claus VII did not die in the explosion, but merely made it appear so. From there he went to live in the Bahamas. He is later found, dead of a heart attack, in a jacuzzi with two and a half dozen nymphets.


      Anyone know the origin of this? I found it on a few sites, but this one [ufl.edu] is the only one that mentions any form of credit (using the word lightly there).
    • Claus returns to Europe with a shipload of North Pole artifacts, and is successful in selling them.
      North Pole artifacts? What, like snow?
    • 1998: Fought with Jesus http://home.arcor.de/pla-scripts/scripts-spirit2.h tm
  • by duerra ( 684053 ) * on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:51AM (#14173629) Homepage
    Elves bemoan low-wages, lack of health care coverage and union-busting tactics of "Claws." Factory operations also dogged by several documented instances of child-labor. Santa retorts that "immortal" Elves don't need health insurance, and says child-workers were being punished for being "naughty."

    Forbes did a great job with these biographies, and the quote above is one of my favorites. It has to be one of the more entertaining things that I've read in some time. ... which is kind of sad. We live in a very troubled world right now, but even Forbes plays off it well with bits like "Daddy" Warbucks and his Iraq defense contracts. It's nice to see that there can still be some good humor thrown around =)
  • Mere children (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:52AM (#14173642) Homepage
    None of these are anywhere close to Roger Zelazny's Francis Sandow. He was rich enough to own planets.
  • Lara Croft (Score:5, Funny)

    by Viriatus ( 886319 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @11:55AM (#14173654)
    Lara Croft is rich? I didn't know that. i never paid attention to the story, only to her breasts.
  • I'm Happy (Score:2, Funny)

    by KrisCowboy ( 776288 )
    Good to see both the "Scrooge"s on the list. Looks like Uncle Scrooge is still making some good money after all these years.
    • Re:I'm Happy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ChrisMaple ( 607946 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:26PM (#14173778)
      Forbes estimate of McDuck's wealth is too low. Assuming his money bin is a 100 foot cube full of gold coins, the value is well in excess of $100 billion.
      • It wasn't full in the Duck Tales cartoon. There was a diving board he'd use to dive into it, remember.

        No mention of the lucky dime, though...
      • Total fortune. (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        There is a comic book disney put out, can't remember when. But Scrooges is offically a (I'll misspell this as it's been years since I've read it but something like a "Centarfugillionaire". Way more than billions.
      • No because he swims in it. If the coins were packed solidly it would be way to dense to swim through. He has been filmed often actually swimming under the surface of the money and poping out. This means the density must be farily low... In conclusion there is not nearly as much gold in the MoneyBin as it could possibly hold so McDuck's wealth estimate is probably not under stated. He does have a stock ticker on the desk however and we don't know the value of his other holdings.
        • Re:I'm Happy (Score:3, Informative)

          by cptgrudge ( 177113 )
          But remember, others tried to swim in it as well, and couldn't do so. They simply bashed themselves on the surface on the attempt. Therefore, Uncle Scrooge must be able to destabilize his molecular structure to be able to pass through it.

          No wonder he's so rich! He can just pass through bank walls to steal money!

      • If McDuck tried to sell all that gold, it would flood the market, and the prices he would get would be much less than what the current market value is.
      • by theonetruekeebler ( 60888 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @10:20PM (#14176244) Homepage Journal
        $8.85 trillion:
        • 100*100*100 cubic feet is 28,316.8 cubic meters.
        • A cubic meter of gold weighs 19.32 metric tons (!).
        • 31.1 grams in a Troy ounce.
        • Gold closed at $503.15 on Friday.

        Google Calculator gave more precise numbers. A one cent fluctuation in the price of gold changes his net worth by $176 million.

        Went to lunch with him last week. Fucker wanted to split the check.

        • ...that that cube (100ft on a side) represents significantly more than all the gold ever mined in the history of the world (about 66ft on a side).

          Then again, what's a few cubic acres between friends, especially when 4-dimensional spatial units of measure are so fun?
        • I'd have to wonder how much all that gold is _really_ worth - like, if he sold it a small amount at a time at market price [in effect flooding the market]
    • I always figured he was the victorian equivalent of a pawn shop owner; just nasty about it. The guy still works in his own, single shop business, in a poor neighbourhood, lending to the locals.

      It's a parable about nastyness, greed, and being a workaholic, not about the rich.
      • According to the article, he's got $1.7 billion sitting around

        but... "Sizable gold horde appreciating rapidly; said to make $10 million every time price of gold goes up by $1."

        So, assuming they're talking about troy ounces, that'd mean he has 10 million troy ounces of gold?

        If that's the case, at a current market value of $503.20 to the troy ounce, that's $5.032 Billion. that'd kick him up to #10 over Willy Woka.

        Forbes forget to run their numbers by someone who knows math. As someone else pointed out, the ot
  • Archie... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by michaelzhao ( 801080 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:00PM (#14173672)
    I would also maybe think that number 16 on the list could be Mr. Lodge from Archie, Veronica Lodge's father.
  • AFA I remember, he was on the last spot last year. Any news what happened to him?
    • He's on the dropoff list (which is rather annoying since it automatically goes to the next one at a set amount of time, so if you don't hit stop it'll probably change while you're still reading). Just in case, here's the text:

      "After years of fruitless investigations by the SEC, Gekko may have finally met his match in crusading New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Early this spring, Spitzer brought a raft of civil and criminal charges against Gekko, including insider trading, securities fraud, obst
    • by Oopsz ( 127422 )
      He saved a bunch of money on his car insurance...
  • Industrial Billionaire with massive weapons contracts, how was he forgotten?
  • Santa Claus (Score:3, Funny)

    by ndogg ( 158021 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nrohr.eht]> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:17PM (#14173737) Homepage Journal
    His elves are on strike. [dillfrog.com] Mr. Claus responded by saying, "I assure you that this year's quota will be reached." He would not respond to questions as to how this will be done.

    (Since I'm fairly certain that my friend will kill me if he found out I /.ed his server, some mirrors: Coral Cache [nyud.net].)
  • by vagabond_gr ( 762469 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:23PM (#14173763)
    From TFA:

    #6 McDuck, Scrooge
    Net Worth: $8.2 billion

    Nonsense, according to Carl Barks [wikipedia.org] himself:
    "Uncle Scrooge's fortune stands at precisely ... Five billion quintiplitilion unptuplatillion multuplatillion impossibidillion fantasticatrillion dollars. This translates into three cubic acres of money housed in the McDuck Money Bin." - Carl Barks 1994

    Source: Uncle Carl - His Life and Times [swipnet.se]
  • by Chaffar ( 670874 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:25PM (#14173774)
    Dewey spotted canoodling with Parrot Hilton.

    Anybody knows where I can download the tape ?

  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:32PM (#14173800)
    I have it on good authority that he does not in fact exist. As as evil corporation Microsoft decided early on that having a whiny nerd as a leader would help make them seem harmless. The guy that plays Bill Gates is actually a Second City alumn from Toronto.
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:39PM (#14173823) Homepage Journal
    They missed some far more interesting characters:

    Gregory "Elephant" Pelton, hier to the Jumpshift teleportation fortune, from Niven's Known Space universe.

    "Hotblack" Desiato, lead singer from Disaster Area.

    Woodrow Wilson Smith, a.k.a. Lazarus Long. (being exceptionally long lived does have its benefits when ammassing wealth).

    In the same vein, Mr. "Flint" from ST:TOS.

    • Woodrow Wilson Smith, a.k.a. Lazarus Long. (being exceptionally long lived does have its benefits when ammassing wealth).

      Doesn't he amass his wealth later in life? I haven't read all his books, but I thought he didn't actually make his wealth until he left Earth? I mean, the question would be how much money he has today, in 2005, not how much he has in 35632.

      • You are correct. In 2005 Smith would have been only moderately wealthy (inheritance from the "death" of his mother in 1982 accounting for most of it). Since Rhysling died around 2004, and Smith was running a whorehouse on Mars when Rhysling died it seems likely that Smith was either living a moderately comfortable life on Mars, or immegrating to Venus in 2005. Not nearly rich enough to make the top 15 fictional characters.

        Of course, if we're going to be picky about time, Ebenezer Scrooge should have died
  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Saturday December 03, 2005 @12:40PM (#14173827)
    http://www.forbes.com/2002/08/12/0812deadintro.htm l [forbes.com]

    Its impressive to make that much money, not only in retirement, but when you've been dead for years.
    • Wow... that entire list can be viewed as an argument for intellectual property reform!
      • Good point.

        Wouldn't it be great to, say, build one house but get paid for building houses for the rest of your life, and beyond?

        Somehow, this supposedly encourages creative people to work harder. I don't see it. Come to think of it, about half the people on that list (including some I liked) were just plain fucked-up and drove themselves to an early grave.

        Just think, if there were better copyright laws, Elvis might still be with us.
  • There is the ever informative the Christmas Price Index [pncchristm...eindex.com] [warning - linked site plays horrible christmas music if you have Flash insatalled] which tracks the price of obtaining 12 dummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 5 gooooooold rings, a partridge in a pear tree and so on.

    "The Christmas Price Index reflects the economic trends that we have witnessed during the past year," said Jeff Kleintop, chief investment strategist for PNC Advisors. "Not only are avian flu fears and fuel costs driving prices higher, but
  • Hell, everything they write about technology seems to me to be entirely agenda driven and certainly manageds to avoid inconvenient facts. They've declared Notes dead a half dozen times in teh last 15 years for a variety of reasons. They've come out against blogs, then blogged. Dan Lyons is a great example of this. Search google on Dan Lyons and Domino and see what people are saying (or click here hostit1.connectria.com/twduff/home.nsf/plinks/TDU F -6CC4UD for a rundown).

    I won't even link to a Forbes arti
    • All magazines/journals/newspapers are wrong many times when predicting the future about future trends (such as markets, emerging technologies, if a new product will sell etc). Show me one media outlet that has been correct even 50% of the time. Are you seriously suggesting that because they were wrong in some predictions, and now that they use some of the technologies they said wouldn't be successful, they have lost all credibility in your eyes? Because clearly predicting the future is an easy endeavor.
      • ...when a magazine and writer are repeatedly wrong in the same direction against the same products year after year even when showed evidence to the contrary each time, yes. They're off my read-list.

        When that same writer repeatedly stands up for astroturfing analyst firms whos editorial process includes calling the superiors of a blogger and attempting to have the person fired, they're off my read-list.
  • He just wants you to think he's fictional. It's all part of the mystical intrigue he's woven around his character.
  • Maybe he is not the richest man on earth, even if he lives like it is, but the richest are usually the people he fight against.

    And speaking of archivillains, er... well, Gates is non fictional, sorry.

  • WHAT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <adam@fir s t tube.com> on Saturday December 03, 2005 @01:14PM (#14173966) Homepage
    What happened to Dr. Evil?? We know he was worth big bucks, Number 2 said so!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What about Mr.Burns trillion dollar bill?
  • by Garg ( 35772 )
    You know, when was growing up, I never thought of Luthor as rich. But I guess he was, since he never lacked money to build his super-weapons to try out on Superman.

    But, in those days, he never even made a token appearance at the office, like Bruce Wayne did. No, he just always hung out in the latest underground lair (which Supes never seemed to discover him in the process of building, despite the whole telescopic vision/super-hearing stuff), wearing horrendous purple-and-green spandex outfits with high
  • no, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @01:44PM (#14174105) Homepage Journal
    'Ewing Oil filed for bankruptcy in the wake of massive accounting scandal.'"

    Realistically, how could any oil company go bankrupt, even with a "massive accounting scandal"? They practically are minting money at the refinary.
  • by dreadlocks ( 637491 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @02:17PM (#14174251)
    1. Peter Parker - makes ends meet by selling pix. He's a friggin genius, so he sells pictures!?!? WTF

    2. apparently every other criminal other than Lex. Because they have no $$, they're constantly robbing banks etc.

    3. The simpsons. Same old POS car for what, 12+ years now?

    4. Fry from Futurama - nuff said there.

    5. Wolverine - Sponging off old Professor X. Wolvie is older than the old prof, but evidently never invested his earnings from the old days. I guess even if he did, he can't remember where he put the investments. He should have a decent Canadian pension though.

    6. Robin - suck up some of ol' Bruce's wealth wouldja?

    7. Any of Jed Clampet's neighbors. Moonshine doesn't make that much $$

    8. Harry Potter - maybe his parent's left him a trust fund for when he turns 18? Until then ....

    9. Drizzt Do'Urden - yea another guy who could be rich as hell, but decides to go the goody two shoes route. His Dwarf King buddy finances his exploits. (Salvatore novels)

    10. Jimmy the Hand (as a kid) - (Feist novels) - yea, he was poor as hell, but he took advantage of a a good thing (Arutha) and eventually turned his fortune around. He was poor as hell for awhile though.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Harry Potter has a vault full of gold in Gringotts, the goblin bank. Indeed, he has so much gold that he gave away the 1000 Galleons that he won from the Tri-Wizard tournament. Harry Potter may be poor for his first few years, but as soon as he started going to school, he got what was coming to him.
  • by FhnuZoag ( 875558 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @02:48PM (#14174372)
    Really. It looks like a majority of the rich fictional characters listed received their fortunes by inheritance, not through their own efforts.

    Is that a wry criticism of the failure of capitalism?

    (Probably not)
  • I know I know only movies/tv however there were Spiderman Cartoon shows AND the Kingpin was in the movie Daredevil even though it sucked. The guy had money to control crime all over the place. He could hire the best evil scientists, super powered villians galore, plus he had an entire army at his disposal. Batman may have some companies to run and some bat technology for just him, the Kingpin also has companies to run and has tons and tons of technology/employees all aimed at eliminating his enemies. Th
  • by kakos ( 610660 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @03:55PM (#14174679)
    Everyone knows that Batman's super power is that he's richer than God. I believe that puts Bruce Wayne firmly in the #1 position.
  • by lelitsch ( 31136 ) on Saturday December 03, 2005 @05:18PM (#14174978)
    The Money Bin is at least 20 meters on each side. That's 8000 cubic
    meters. Take away the room for Scrooge's office and as a lower bound
    assume hexagonal closest packing of spherical gold coins, that leaves
    about 5500 m^3 of gold. At a specific weight of 19320kg/m^3 and
    today's closing gold price of $506 per troy oz, that's 1.66 _trillion_
    dollars. And then there are his mining, shipping, ranching and other
    • And when you say other assets I would have to say would be probably old Scrooge owns all of Nephew Donalds and H,D, and Ls contracts with the Studio.

      Donald is soooo his bitch, and the boys are his bitchettes.

      He might also be behind the blackberry patent suit, you know with his wacky inventor pal.

    • Unless Scrooge has an army of minions to stack the coins, they're more likely to be in a conical stack than in neat piles. Nevertheless, that still translates to a metric shitload of dollars.
  • Or how about Dr Savage? He was a rich crime fighter.
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bfandreas ( 603438 )
    I really don't get it.
    How can Richie Rich, a certified nobody and fictional at that, be richer than old McDuck?
    And ole Santa? They surely aren't quite as serious as they ought to be when it comes to fictional wealth.
    That being said, Scrooge McDuck is the richest, sexiest and whatever.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?