If you wanted rights, then you should've gone to college.
Are you just hanging around your sister's house, watching the kids, doing the laundry, or maybe even just playing video games, with no prospects, and contributing nothing to society?
Then you might be a NEET. N
ot currently engaged in E
ducation or T
The NEET is usually a college-age male, though it is occasionally used in regards to females. A NEET is either between jobs and down on his luck, an idiot
who has failed the entrance exams for college, or a Lazy Bum
with no goals in life, freeloading off whoever is around. Occasionally the NEET might also be a shut-in
, and unable to enter into society because of some debilitating agorophobia or peer pressure. Either way, he will probably have something like "Shut up, you stupid NEET!" or "Get a job!" yelled in his face at least once. Probably more than once
In most stories featuring this Trope, the NEET is the world's Butt Monkey
, or at least perceives himself as such. The Deadpan Snarker
will take every opportunity to remind him that he's useless, while more sentimental characters may try to motivate him to get a life with a Rousing Speech
. In fact, if he isn't the Plucky Comic Relief
, set there as an Acceptable Target
for mockery, then he is more than likely The Hero
, and this is the premise behind his story. Hopefully by the end, he is a fully functional member of society, who got into that college after that cram session with The Smart Guy
, or now has a promising career after hard work job-searching, and he might even get together with the crazy girl
who kicked his ass into gear.
Compare This Loser Is You
and The Slacker
. Related to, but generally not overlapping with, Pretty Freeloaders
, despite the fact that that they might not contribute money to the household. This is mostly on account of Double Standards
, as it's more socially acceptable for a female to be without an income than it is for a male, though this is changing. Only a female in these circumstances who is actively being hassled for not having a job or being in school can be considered a NEET.
There's also a Spanish version of this trope, called Ni-Ni note
Not to be confused with Keet
, though a 'keet NEET
Anime and Manga
- Satou, the main character in Welcome to the N.H.K..
- Jiji, Banba, Mayaya, Chieko, and Tsukimi from Kuragehime are NEETs, though they vigorously deny it when Kuranosuke asks them about it. While it's true that several of them do have what technically qualifies as employment it's still painfully obvious that this is what they are.
- Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka, until deciding he wanted to be a teacher, was a Yankee and a NEET.
- Yuuya in the two-shot manga Itsuka No Himitsu by Naono Bohra, is a NEET who is fired from his job and evicted, and has to move back in with his parents. Of course, this is written by Naono Bohra, so this sets up a romance with his male neighbor he's known since childhood.
- Eden of the East: Some of the characters are NEETs portrayed fairly sympathetically. The 20,000 missing NEETs are a plot point.
- In several instances, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has depicted a NEET as a middle-aged guy being taken care of by his mother while he plays video games all day. They also discussed the difference between a NEET and a Hikikomori (according to the hikikomori character, it's that she "would like to get a job"). Incidentally, after a while, the English translation of the manga just uses the term Slacker whenever NEET would be used in the original.
- Nagi from Hayate the Combat Butler aspires to be a NEET.
- The Mobile Suit Gundam prequel manga Garma Of The Space Island reveals that Big Bad Gihren Zabi used to be one before he got involved in political activism with Zeon Zum Deikun.
- Most of the characters from Heaven's Memo Pad.
- Another BL example is the main character of Konbini-kun, Endou Hiroshi, by JUNKO. He takes up a job as a convenience store worker, but breaks down when helping customers. He does get better after interacting with his co-worker and eventual love interest, Yamai Kouhei.
- In K-On!, when asked about what she wants to become, Yui says she wants to become one of these.
- In The World God Only Knows, Keima Katsuragi heads into this direction at relativistic speeds. Does nothing all day but playing dating sims. At home? Dating sims. In school during period? Dating sims on the roof. In school during class? Dating sims at his desk. In school during PE? Dating sims. Take away his handheld game console and he pulls out another. And another. And another. His mother doesn't really see a reason to change this and he offered the faculty to ace all tests and exams if they let him play during class as they can't technically punish him for seemingly not paying attention in class if said tests and exams prove the contrary. He does exactly that.
- Near the end of Girl Friends, Kuno-chin mentions that she may not be able to see her boyfriend often now that he's graduated from university because he said that he's become the Housing Security Officer of his own home... which is just a really fancy way of calling himself a NEET, so Taguchi assures her that she'll be able to see him everyday.
- Discussed and joked about briefly during an early chapter in Gakuen Babysitters. While playing house with Kirin, Usaida plays the role of Ryuuichi and Kirin's eldest son, an unrepentant NEET who shows no shame in begging his father for money and asking when his mother will finish with dinner. As Ryuuichi states and how the audience thinks, the role suits Usaida a little ''too'' perfectly.
- Lucifer in The Devil Is a Part-Timer! after his failed betrayal has fallen to being a NEET that resides in his master's (the titular Maou) tiny residence. And is mercilessly mocked as such by various characters.
- Cuuko (Cthuguha) from Haiyore! Nyarko-san, whom Nyarko calls a NEET and a Hikikomori as insults. She refers to herself as a "home security guard" (自宅警備員, jitaku keibiin), which is a term coined by 2ch with pretty much the same meaningnote . Cuuko actually does have a job (Space Cop) and attends a local high school as part of her cover (she's already graduated from Space College), but still chooses to spend all day playing video games and needling Mahiro into cooking for her. She even goes off to play video games during the Beach Episode!
- Love Lab has Eno's good-for-nothing older brother, who even wears a shirt that says "NEET" on it.
- The protagonist of Yuureitou is a NEET with some Hikikomori mixed in. After being nearly killed, Taichi is rescued by a man named Tetsuo. He becomes his partner in solving a mystery involving a "ghost tower", where a woman was killed 2 years ago in a similar manner to the way Taichi was to be. Noticeably the story takes place in The Fifties so he lacks stereotypical qualities liking constantly being glued to the internet or being anime/game obsessed (he does like mysteries and scifi, which is presented as niche and weird, though)
- The apartment neighbor in Shin-chan is portrayed as a cross between this and hikkikomori, having failed the college entrance exams multiple times.
- Princess Raynesia of Log Horizon desires nothing more than to sleep the majority of the day in her comfortable flannel pajamas, rather than playing the part of a Princess Classic for stuffy nobles. Krusty is able to handle her easily due to his experience with his NEET sister.
- Averted for most of I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying. Hajime spends all day at home playing video games while his wife works, but he does have an income via his blog, and later working for his friend Miki. There was a brief period during episode 4 between these two where he was a NEET.
- Scott Pilgrim freeloads off his friend Wallace, for most of the comic doesn't have a job, isn't in school and is frequently told to get a life.
- In Big Daddy, Adam Sandler's character starts as one, but by the end he has law studies and becomes a lawyer.
- Kaguya from Touhou is often depicted as a NEET in fanon. In canon... it depends on whether you consider being technically in charge of a household to be a job. As a princess, it's arguably her job to not have a job.
- Speaking of fanon, there's a widespread joke/meme in Japanese Raidou Kuzunoha fandom that Narumi is a NEET (in canon he runs a detective agency, but it doesn't seem to be very successful).
- For a while after quitting his job as a journalist, Matt from Mac Hall is unemployed and hanging around their house just playing video games, until he is randomly called on the phone and offered a job managing a comic book store.
- A strip of Homo Sexience featured a King whose method of deterring assassins was to build a tower with him at the top, and 4 of the most beautiful women from history on the floors below him, trusting that they would tire the assassins out before they could reach him. One finally got to the top, explaining that "They didn't even glance at me when I told them I was unemployed."
- Elliot Torres, the protagonist of Blood Stain, is a more serious approach to how a NEET would exist in a realistic setting. She never decided to work due to her older sister, Clara, taking care of financial responsibilities, so she instead slacks off, gets kicked out from any job applied, and plays game after college until the age of 27. When their mother lands in the hospital, the Torres' expenses shoots up to the point where they need to cut corners. Once Clara points out that she'll have to cancel internet service for Elliot's games, Elliot makes a genuine effort to hold onto a job. However, due to her employers' own financial struggle, Elliot is let go, so she desperately reapplies to a shady job opening, which sets up the main story of the webcomic.
- The lyrics to the famous Astroemeria remix of Bad Apple!! are about NEET/hikikomori depression.
- Sparadrap has made himself look like one until one of his guilmates found out what his job was, as his guilmates either have a job or are students and he reported long playing hours.
- Arthéon transited through this between leaving a Boarding School he didn't like and getting a job related to the game everyone is playing.
- Fantöm is this as of the first Wham Episode. The comic version of the story shows him giving the employment office a try, but his experience as professional gamer, which is the only job he ever had, isn't taken seriously and the person in charge of him has no idea what to offer him.
- The two main characters in Megas XLR, Coop and his best friend Jamie, pretty much hang out in Coop's parents' basement playing video games all day everyday and do not appear to have jobs, at least not for long. Kiva is horrified by their Lazy Bum lifestyles.
- In The Looney Tunes Show, Daffy Duck has been living in Bugs Bunny's house for five years, has no job, credit, or social skills, and gets all his money from Porky Pig, almost always without his consent.
- Purely by definition, all people who are not in job, training or education are this. This means that all the elderly and other people who retired are also a NEET - in other words, this trope is global.
- Interesting note in that despite the term being so prevalent in Japan, the word and its usage is actually British in origin. Japan simply adopted it after the market bubble burst and recession of the 90s created an influx of NEET in their society.