Fantastic Office Freakouts
Before he was a hand model or on the Yankees payroll, the eternally put-upon George Costanza was a real estate broker. That is, until he tendered a furious, ranting resignation upon being banned from the executive washroom. Later in the episode, his attempts to un-quit by coming to work and pretending nothing happened are met with characteristic failure.
I'm going to break a couple rules here for a second and talk about Fight Club. Specifically the scene where Edward Norton's character, in a clever bit of foreshadowing, beats the ever-loving bejeezus out of himself in order to frame his boss into giving him free paychecks. I once tried that here at EW, but they just thought that it qualified me to recap Jersey Shore.
Ever get the feeling that the people who work at TGIF are the ones that most understand the beauty of that acronym? When Jennifer Aniston's waitress at the Fridays-inspired Chotchkie's gets reprimanded for only wearing the minimum 15 pieces of flair, she flips her manager the ultimate personal expression on her way out the door.
The iconic scene in Paddy Chayefsky's caustic, barely dated satire of the sensationalist depths of television has unhinged anchorman Howard Beale declaring that he's mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. When his ranting strikes a chord with the public, the network keeps him on the news — but that's only because they didn't have reality shows in 1976.
(500) Days of Summer
After Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character discovers that the problem about dating an insouciant and flighty MPDG (Manic Pixie Dream Girl) is that she's actually insouciant and flighty, he no longer finds his job writing copy for a greeting card company tolerable. And thus a hilarious, hungover speech calling BS on the ''Hang In There'' cat.
We've all got our own personal methods of procrastination. Some clean out their closets, some catch up on old episodes of CHiPs, and some type ''All work and no play make Jack a dull boy'' 60,000 times before trying to murder their wife and son with an ax. Different strokes for different folks.
Kevin Spacey is so good at playing horrible bosses (See: Swimming With Sharks, Glengarry Glen Ross, and the aptly titled upcoming Horrible Bosses) that it's nice to see him as just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose, blackmailing his employers for a full-year's salary plus benefits.
Lost in America
Albert Brooks' hilariously cynical look at the yuppie notion of ''finding yourself'' has his character throwing a massive hissy fit after being passed over for the promotion he thought he deserved, and then leaving with his wife on a cross-country trip. The movie's ultimate punch-line: After failing miserably at spontaneous, easy-rider living, Brooks returns to his job — with a pay cut.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Surprise! Al Pacino is angry. When his ineffectual, nepotistic boss (Kevin Spacey) costs him $6,000 in commissions, Ricky Roma gives him an upbraiding that's worthy of a ''Hoo-ah,'' threatening to go to Mitch and Murray and spitting out David Mamet's expletives like watermelon seeds. ABC, Always Be Cursing.
Showing the same questionably feminist leanings that Katherine Heigl would later exhibit in Knocked Up, former model Izzie strips down to her undies when her qualifications as a doctor are questioned.
Ari Gold is a shrewd operator, but not shrewd enough to prevent news of his planned defection to slip by his boss, unnoticed. Like any great PR man, he quickly starts spinning the bad news of his firing by making an offer to all of his co-workers to join him at his new firm.
9 to 5
After years of thankless work that's all takin' and no givin', the sassy troika of Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda fantasize about various ways to off their chauvinist sleazebag of an employer.
''I guess I feel kinda different.'' With the security that only comes with knowing you have both near-superhuman abilities and over $3 million in the bank, Wesley gives it to his stapler-toting boss before taking a keyboard to the face of the ''friend'' who cuckolded him. When the flying keys spelled out ''F--- YOU,'' we understand that, like its main character, this movie isn't exactly going to be subtle.
Who's with me? After asking the entire office to join him in his departure, Jerry leaves his high-powered sports agency job with nothing but a goldfish and Renee Zellweger in tow. Luckily he falls in love with the latter and not the former, or that would have been a different movie.
Pixar's superheroic screed against mediocrity and self-limitation has the Herculean Mr. Incredible stuck pushing pencils instead of freight trains. That is, until he throws his insufferable, middle-management boss through three walls.
Are we forgetting any mesmerizing meltdowns? Sound off below!