What happened to the Esso Tiger?

Did Exxon trade him to Disney to greet visitors to Disneyworld as Tigger?

Does he stand in for Tony at celebrity appearances?

Did he move to a zoo? back to India?

Did Bill Watterson hire him as a consultant?

Does Exxon keep him to feed under-performing executives to at their secret lair in a dormant volcano on an uninhabited Pacific islet?

Did he get put in a retirement home, befriend Rags, eat Crusader?

Did he ever get out of that tank?

Might have been retired to a sanctuary, Exxon does use the tiger stripes on their pumps from my understanding

Got eaten by the Sinclair dinosaur?

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The tiger was always in your tank.

He retired, now uses his birth name Hobbs and lives with Calvin.


At the height of Esso’s Tiger in Your Tank advertising campaign–when some people were actually attaching a miniature tiger tail that dangled out of their fuel filler door–the local Shell station posted a large sign that stated:

Our superior Shell gasoline will remove damaging tiger hair from your gas tank.


Option E is fun to imagine.

It’s been a long time now, but last I saw there was a lawsuit from Kellogg’s claiming the Exxon tiger infringed on their Frosted Flakes tiger. They hadn’t objected while the Exxon tiger was only used to sell gas because no one would confuse gasoline with cereal.

But then Exxon decided to brand all of their operations with the tiger, including food sales, including breakfast cereal sales. At that point Kellogg’s sued. Never did hear how the lawsuit turned out - I know it was settled but I don’t know what the terms were. But I’d bet that has something to do with why you don’t see the Exxon tiger much anymore.

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I’m amazed that the lawsuit would gain any traction. They are two completely different products. That is legally allowed. From my understanding of the lawsuit was that Exxon was using their tiger to promote food items at the Exxon Convenient stores. That may have crossed a line.

IIRC, the landmark case of this nature dates back to the 1930s or 1940s.
The makers of Cadillac dogfood were sued by GM for copyright infringement.

In denying GM’s claim, the court stated some variation of the “no reasonably intelligent person” legal principle, and noted that dogfood and cars were distinctly different products that people of normal intelligence would not confuse.

Still on the credit card:

It is until, as you said, you start using your gas tiger to advertise cereal.

One of the sticking points in the lawsuit – the one that went to the Supreme Court – was that Exxon had been using a tiger for decades. They started using it less than 10 years after Kellogg’s started using theirs. So the question was, why did you wait so long to sue? And the answer was just what you said - until now the Exxon tiger was only used to market gasoline. Now it’s being used to market breakfast cereal and other food items, which directly conflicts with the Kellogg’s tiger’s marketing of breakfast cereal. So the infringement only just recently (well, recently at the time they sued) started due to that change despite the mascot itself having existed for a very long time.

I don’t remember details but some years ago a major nationwide business entered the Oklahoma market and immediately sued a small business with the same business name for trademark infringement and asking the court to force the small business to change their name.

The court determined that the small business had existed with that name for many years before Big Corp came to OK and had, in fact, existed for even longer before Big Corp even existed under that name. End result was small biz got to keep their name, Big Corp had to pay all of small biz’s legal costs plus hefty damages, and had to operate in OK under a different name so as not to infringe on small biz’s name.


There was an Asian restaurant at a nearby mall food court named Sony’s. It was the namesake of the woman that owned it. Guess who sued her and made her take her name off the kiosk?

im going to be 62 and can remember when gas stations use to give you free gifts for filling up there. damn im getting old. lol


We have a local restaurant named Bozo’s Bar-B-Q near us that was sued by the clown. It got all the way to the Supreme Court. The clown lost because the restaurant dates back to the 1920’s and it is located on what was a main east-west artery (US-20) before I-40 was built. There were hundreds of people from all over the world signed affidavits that they had eaten there.

Really great BBQ BTW.

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Back in the '60s, there was an off-brand, cheapo gas station in our county. They started out giving a free drinking glass with a fill-up. When winter came, they gave out small bags of traction grit. Before they went out of business, their give-away was a roll of toilet paper with a fill-up.

Now, we’re back to toilet paper! :crazy_face:


Years ago when Burger King was spreading across the country…There was this little burger joint in the mid-west that had the slogan of King of Burgers. They were around at least a decade before Burger King or McDonalds. Burger King sued them. The small company couldn’t fight a lawsuit like this. They were tied up in courts for years and finally the small burger place filed bankruptcy. Burger King won by default.

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I understand protecting trademarks but I hate when big corporations bully small businesses with similar names that predate the big corporation, knowing they easily can outspend the small business into such bankruptcy. What was nice about the outcome of the case in OK was that the long pre-existing small guy won and was awarded all costs and damages from the big bully.


Well interesting. I just pulled my Mobil card out and sure enough, the tiger was there. I hadn’t noticed it. Now that I’m looking at it, I see the card expired in 2019. Can’t remember the last time I used it but obviously before that. I wonder why they didn’t send me a new one, or did they?