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Last Night’s Twin Peaks Episode Continued a Long Tradition of a Fake Cigarette Brand

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Last night Showtime aired the fifth episode of its “Twin Peaks” revival (review). Towards the end, there’s a scene where a man smoking in a bar – under a “No Smoking: sign, no less – hands the bouncer a pack of cigarettes that’s filled with money.

While the money is clearly the object of focus in this passing moment, the cigarette brand we see briefly has a long history in Hollywood, appearing in shows such as “The Twilight Zone,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Warehouse 13,” “The X-Files,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Strain,” “The Outer Limits,” and “American Horror Story,” to name a few. That’s not even recognizing the films it’s appeared in, such as Psycho, Joy Ride 2, S. Darko, and more. It’s even been seen in video games, appearing in both System Shock 2 and Gone Home.

That brand, my dear readers, is Morley.

The Morley brand goes back to the early 60’s, where its name came from a play on the term “Marleys,” a nickname for Marlboro cigarettes. The packaging is meant to evoke the same kind of look and style as its namesake bears, but it gets around needing permission or appearing to sponsor a brand. It’s basically a legal loophole that gives viewers a sense of familiarity. Plus, I’m willing to bet it helps Marlboro’s sales, so they can’t really complain.

What makes this brand so interesting is that it’s a mainstay of Hollywood, a brand that is seen in tons of various properties but doesn’t connect their universes in any way. It’s a constant through various worlds and has become somewhat of a game to find them.

So, the next time you’re watching a movie and you see a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, make sure it’s not a pack of Morley’s giving you the slip!

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