The author wants to portray their character as a loser, but doesn't want to offend people in any particular occupation. So they make the character's occupation their own. This allows for a lot of SelfDeprecatingHumor, which is probably the whole point. It also means that the parody will be much better informed than one from someone [[ShallowParody who knows less about the profession]] - being on the inside means they include anecdotes and details that other scientists or teachers or priests or whatever will find greater recognition and (hopefully) humour in.

The loser cartoonist [[TerribleArtist can't draw]], the writer [[HerCodeNameWasMarySue has an obviously Mary-Sue version of him/herself]], or some other type of StylisticSuck. These characters may also be prone to extreme WritersBlock, which can justify the times that they aren't working/don't have a job.

This '''must''' be where a character's career is the same as the ''author'' of the work. A hack novelist main character in a novel would be an example, but a hack novelist in an animated show or a cartoonist in a novel would not be.

Compare AcceptableTargets, SelfDeprecation, WriteWhatYouKnow and especially WritersSuck.


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* The two protagonists in ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' start off not so much as losers but as utterly normal high schoolers. Mashiro's uncle, [[PosthumousCharacter who is dead when the story starts]], fits this trope a lot more.
* The main lead of ''Manga/{{Takamagahara}}'' is so bad at creating manga that it makes people who read it physically ill.
* One of the main characters (Harima) of ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' is an amateur manga artist whose work was onced featured in a weekly magazine a la ''Shonen Jump''. His manga is... ''satisfactory'', but people prefer his classmate Karasuma's comic which is also published on said magazine.
* Izumi Tsubaki is an established shoujo manga artist and in ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'' she takes light-hearted jabs at her own profession. Nozaki making all his male characters [[OnlySixFaces look alike]] pokes fun at her own tendency to reuse the same characters designs in her manga, with Nozaki's character design itself being one that shows up prominently in ''Manga/OresamaTeacher'' and ''Magic Touch''.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* Jon Arbuckle, ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'s owner. Over time, the loser aspect completely overshadowed the fact that he even had a job. In fact, the only times Jon was mentioned as being a cartoonist were in [[ the first strip]], [[ these]] [[ two]] strips that began the Christmas 1984 {{Story Arc}}, and [[ this]] 2010 {{Sunday Strip}}.
* Stephen Pastis, the cartoonist responsible for ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'', frequently [[AuthorAvatar inserts himself into the strip]] as a 40-year old smoking loser cartoonist who [[{{ButtMonkey}} often gets abused by the other characters]], especially Rat. See [[ this strip]] for an example.
** Usually this is after a bad pun it took a whole Sunday strip to set up. One had Rat not liking a poster of Mia Hamm or a two-tone green Texas A&M flag. Why? "Because I Do Not Like Green Aggs and Hamm!" he screams in exasperation.
** He also does some Creator ''Former'' Career Self-Deprecation, as he started the cartoon after he quit his job as a lawyer. Yes, there are [[EvilLawyerJoke evil lawyer jokes]].
* Darby Connley was portrayed as an '''extreme''' one of these in [[ these]][[ three]] [[ strips]] of his own ''ComicStrip/{{Get Fuzzy}}''.
* A great many FrancoBelgianComics portray comic authors and artists as wretched slaves toiling away to produce art under the iron rule of a heartless, evil editor obsessed with productivity.
* Creator/AlanMoore's run on ''ComicBook/{{Supreme}}'' includes the character of Billy Friday, not just a comic book writer but specifically an egotistical English writer of American superhero comics with a penchant for DarkerAndEdgier revamps of old characters. Although for some Billy Friday is more of a parody of Creator/GrantMorrison than a self-parody.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/AllegroNonTroppo'', all of the animation is supposedly being made by one lowly cartoonist shackled to his desk.
* ''Film/ThePlayer'': A Hollywood movie poking fun at Hollywood, even with collaboration of A-list actors!


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[Creator/KurtVonnegut Kurt Vonnegut Jr.]] repeatedly uses the character Kilgore Trout, a failed sci-fi writer, in his novels as an AuthorAvatar of the self deprecating variety, though Vonnegut has admitted that Trout is also influenced by Creator/TheodoreSturgeon.
* RepairmanJack: The character P. Frank Winslow, who is an AuthorAvatar to the author, named F. Paul Wilson. He, as well as authors in general, is described as "needy". His whole character is basically here for this purpose.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov loved this trope; the "George and Azazel" stories almost always start with George dismissing his writer friend's career. (And said writer is Asimov himself.)
* One of the protagonists in horror writer Brian [=McNaughton=]'s ''The Throne of Bones'' is an eccentric horror writer who pokes fun at his own profession.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* An extreme example on ''Series/ThirtyRock''::Jack directly parodies Alec Baldwin's career. An approximate quotation:
-->"And it doesn't matter if you do movies about important things like sick puppies and the Holocaust... the moment you go on TV, nobody will ever take you seriously again."
** There's also Liz Lemon, who is basically Creator/TinaFey but with a crappy love life and no respect from her peers. The other writers in the show are depicted as frat boys with the maturity of 12-year-olds.
* On ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Chuck Shirley, pen name "Carver Edlund" after writer/producers Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund, is a loser prophet and a writer. Then again, the last episode of the fifth season implies that he could actually be God, so...
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' did this a bit, both belittling Jerry's stand-up act and writing for a sitcom. Another take on "SeinfeldIsUnfunny" here.
** ''Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm'' does the same for Creator/LarryDavid's career, with the added bonus that Larry says that it his character is very similar to his real life, just that he is slightly less awkward in social situations.
*** In overlap, Creator/JasonAlexander said he could not get a good handle on his Seinfeld character, George, until he realized that Creator/LarryDavid had been subconsciously mocking himself.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Gary, the main character from ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', is portrayed like this. However, this isn't his main job, but a side talent. His actual job gets minimal importance, while his drawing is ''supposed'' to be a loser attribute. It just so happens that several potential love interests find it an endearing or useful talent.
* Zach Wiener of ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' likes to portray himself as this.
* Kaitlyn Hu of newspaper-style ''WebComic/{{Precocious}}'', wants to be a cartoonist. Everyone else tells her it's a [[ terrible idea.]]
-->'''Wen:''' So I thought you were supposed to be smart.
-->'''Kaitlyn:''' Cartoonists are smart. [[ They're just not rational.]]
* In [[ this]] ''Webcomic/LadiesInWaiting'' strip, Zoë tries to think of a future career that requires no effort. She comes up with "a cartoonist".
* In ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'' when [[AuthorAvatar Doc]] opens a time portal back to the time of the first strip he shouts at his past self "webcomics are not a viable career choice!"
* In an [[ UnConventional]] strip where Bork Con is having budget problems Veronica suggests they save money by only inviting webcomic artists if all their other guests say no. "They're a bunch of hacks."


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Egoraptor portrays himself as a SmallNameBigEgo in the ''WebAnimation/AwesomeSeries''. In ''WebAnimation/GirlchanInParadise'', his AuthorAvatar is ''extremely lazy''[[note]]his stage background is a single line representing the horizon[[/note]], he is defeated as easily as most other members of the QuirkyMinibossSquad, and he gets the worst beating of any character in the series.
* Being the MetaGuy that he is, WebVideo/{{Phelous}} regularly cracks jokes about being a hack reviewer prone to overusing running gags and pointless cameos. He even reviewed [[WebVideo/MortalKomedy his own web series]] once.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': In "A Glitch is a Glitch" (done entirely in 3D CGI by guest animator David O'Reilly), Finn gets tired of trying to do animation on a computer, and complains "I don't have the patience for this animation junk. Whoever does this must have no life whatsoever." Then he [[AuthorPowers inexplicably punches himself in the face]]. This joke became even more HilariousInHindsight when O'Reilly quit the animation industry out of his own frustrations with the profession.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'': In the "Clay Day" segment of "Little Gift Shop of Horrors", Mabel has a fear of StopMotion movie monsters, and Stan tries to explain to her that they're just the work of an animator, whom he calls an "anti-social shut-in". (Bear in mind that Stan is voiced by the show's creator, an animator himself.) When they do meet the Creator/RayHarryhausen-like animator, they discover that [[spoiler:he used black magic to make his creatures come to life, meaning he eventually gave up on actually animating them, and has become enslaved by his creations.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MiloMurphysLaw'': In "Worked Day", Milo is trying to decide what kind of job he wants to do on Career Day, and he complains "Some of these don't even sound like they're real jobs. 'Animator'? I think that's a typo."
* Andy from ''WesternAnimation/MissionHill'' is another example. There was even an episode dedicated to the fact that Andy was broke, couldn't get any of his cartoons published, couldn't even get anyone to ''understand'' his cartoons, and was working a dead-end job that barely even put food on the table.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the creator of ''WesternAnimation/TheItchyAndScratchyShow'' is betrayed and turned into a ''bum'', though a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, eventually. The guy who does the ripping off, Roger Myers Jr., although extremely successful, is shown to be amoral, cruel to his employees (insulting them and [[GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity sacking them on a whim]]) and utterly uninterested in the quality of the series as long as ratings and profits are high. The writers are all from Ivy League universities, which gives them attitudes of superiority but are often idle about their work. Other famous "artists" are near universally egotists or hacks, such as [[HatesTheJobLovesTheLimelight Krusty]].