Created By: BlueGuy on July 2, 2012 Last Edited By: BlueGuy on July 31, 2012
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Dinner with The Boss

The boss comes over for dinner and Hilarity Ensues.

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Trope
A standard sitcom plot in which the (Always Male) main character's boss comes to their home for dinner. Naturally, they'll panic when they learn of it and nervously prepare throughout the episode. Expect hilarity to ensue when the boss finally comes.

This is a very common trope in sitcoms, particularly animated ones. It's something of a Discredited Trope, though, perhaps due to the fact that it rarely happens in Real Life.

Examples:

Comic Strips

Fan Fic

Literature
  • The Judy Blume novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing has this, only rather than the boss, it's a client at an advertising agency. The defiant kid brother, Fudge, causes trouble when the client visits, and it's implied that the agency lost the account because of this. The connection is made more direct in the TV adaptation, Superfudge.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Mr. Dursley's potential client and his wife come over to discuss a promotion over dinner. When Harry retires to his bedroom, Dobby the house elf appears and begs Harry not to return to Hogwarts. When he refuses, the house elf levitates a cake over the boss's wife's head and drops it.

Live-Action TV
  • Heil Honey, I'm Home!, the infamous sitcom which had Adolf Hitler and Eve Braun as the main characters (seriously) used a similar set up in its opening episode. The person coming to dinner was Neville Chamberlain rather than a boss, but it's treated exactly the same way.
  • Often happens in Three's Company.
  • Happens a few times on Bewitched.
  • Happens on Family Matters when Harriet's boss Nick is invited to play poker with Carl and his friends.
  • Inverted on Friends - Chandler's boss has him and Monica over to his home for dinner.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns does this in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" as part of his political campaign.
    • Also parodied in "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where the family consists of beavers and the boss is a skunk (played by Tim Conway).
    • In the episode "Twenty-Two Short Films About Springfield," there's a segment about Principal Skinner having Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner.
    • One more Simpsons example: In "Behind the Laughter", this was the plot of the pilot Homer shot. Bart played the boss.
  • Mr. Spacely does this in the pilot episode of The Jetsons.
  • Family Guy: Peter invites Mr. Weed, the owner of the toy company he works at, over for dinner. Weed chokes on a dinner roll (catapulted from Brian's mouth after Brian chokes & Peter gives him the Heimlich maneuver) and dies.
  • Done on an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, but not with any of the main characters. Instead, it played out with parasites living on Spunky, whose lives spoofed old sitcoms.
  • Mr. Slate does this a few times on The Flintstones.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • July 2, 2012
    Hello999
    Mr. Spacely does this in the pilot episode of The Jetsons.
  • July 2, 2012
    NimmerStill
    The Simpsons also parodies it in "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase", where the family consists of beavers and the boss is a skunk (played by Tim Conway).
  • July 2, 2012
    ElCheViva
    Heil Honey Im Home, the infamous sitcom which had Adolf Hitler and Eve Braun as the main characters (seriously) used a similar set up in its opening episode. The person coming to dinner was Neville Chamberlain rather than a boss, but it's treated exactly the same way.
  • July 2, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Family Guy: Peter invites Mr. Weed, the owner of the toy company he works at, over for dinner. Weed chokes on a dinner roll (catepulted from Brian's mouth after Brian chokes & Peter gives him the Heimlich maneuver) and dies.
  • July 3, 2012
    Antigone3
    Doesn't this happen occasionally in the newspaper comic "Blondie"?
  • July 3, 2012
    abk0100
    Another Simpsons example.

    In the episode "Twenty-Two Short Films About Springfield," there's a segment about Principal Skinner having Superintendent Chalmers over for dinner.

    Maybe I'll go watch some Threes Company episodes and come back with a few hundred more examples for you.
  • July 3, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    The Judy Blume novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing has this, only rather than the boss, it's a client at an advertising agency. The defiant kid brother, Fudge, causes trouble when the client visits, and it's implied that the agency lost the account because of this. The connection is made more direct in the TV adaptation, Superfudge.
  • July 3, 2012
    MorwenEdhelwen
    Happened a few times on Bewitched. One episode I can remember right now is Season 3's "Nobody's Perfect" , Larry comes over to discuss the new account with Darrin and at the end they decide to allow the photographer to take pictures of Tabitha, which means Samantha has to work harder to prevent Darrin from finding out Tabitha is a witch before she has a chance to prepare him for the news.
  • July 3, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In another Simpsons Mr. Burns invites himself to the Simpson house for dinner to prove to the voters of the state Springfield is in that he's a regular joe, so they'll vote for him for Governor.
  • July 3, 2012
    planswalker
    we need to organize the tropes by category.
  • July 5, 2012
    MorwenEdhelwen
    You mean "categories" as in "Categories inside indexes"?

  • July 5, 2012
    TonyG
    One more Simpsons example: In "Behind the Laughter", this was the plot of the pilot Homer shot. Bart played the boss.
  • July 5, 2012
    planswalker
    I meant by media, such as Literature, Western Animation, Live-action TV, Film, etc etc
  • July 9, 2012
    BlueGuy
    ^ Already done.
  • July 9, 2012
    planswalker
    well, FOUR days ago when I posted that, it hadn't been done. Glad to see it did.
  • July 11, 2012
    TonyG
    Done on an episode of Rockos Modern Life, but not with any of the main characters. Instead, it played out with parasites living on Spunky, whose lives spoofed old sitcoms.
  • July 15, 2012
    LordCirce
    In the Harry Potter example, Mr. Mason is actually a potential client of Mr. Dursley, not his boss.
  • July 15, 2012
    MartyD82
    Happens on Family Matters when Harriet's boss Nick is invited to play Poker with Carl and his friends.

    I think The Flintstones had Mr. Slate do this a few times.

    Inverted on Friends. Chandler's boss has him and Monica over to his home for dinner.
  • July 31, 2012
    MartyD82
    Family Matters actually had several plots like this. Carl once threw a banquet for his boss, which (literally) exploded when Urkel accidentally sprayed exploding pepper on the chicken. He also played golf with his boss Captain Savage in another episode.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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