1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)


Oh, they'll do anything, up to and including saving humanity. But only as long as you call it a game, then tell them they can't win.

Are you just hanging around your sister's house, watching the kids, doing the laundry, or maybe even just playing video games, with no career prospects, and, from a business point of view at least, not contributing much, if anything at all, to the economy?

Then you might be a NEET. Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training.

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 shunning society due to being unable to function well in it, because of some debilitating Ambiguous Disorder, agoraphobia or peer pressure. Whether his condition is his fault or not, he is likely to get no respect whatsoever, be called an embarassment to his friends and family, or have "Get a job!" yelled in his face at least once. Probably more than once.

In most stories featuring this trope, the NEET is the designated Butt Monkey, treated with No Sympathy. The Deadpan Snarker will take every opportunity to remind him that he's useless, while more sentimental characters would, at best, try to motivate him to get a life with a Rousing Speech. Anything else, such as treating his situation as a symptom of a systemic problem of modern society, is uncommon enough to be considered a subversion. Regardless, it must be noted that the recent unfortunate conditions at the job market in many developed countries mean that the unemployed gradually undergo a shift from Acceptable Lifestyle Targets to being considered genuinely unfortunate. Thus, in order to actually deserve mockery, a NEET in modern media is often given other negative qualities such as being a slob.

If he isn't the Plucky Comic Relief, then he is more than likely The Hero, and the premise behind his story involves finding a worthy goal in life and/or public acceptance. An Aesop can develop in two ways from there onwards: he might get into that college after that cram session with The Smart Guy, get together with a crazy girl who would kick his ass into gear, and generally become a fully functional member of society... or he can give said society the finger, prove that Hard Work Hardly Works and find an outlet for his Brilliant, but Lazy tendencies that render him appreciated in other ways than most people are.

Pretty Freeloaders generally manage to dodge this stigma on the account of, well, being pretty, despite the fact that that they might not contribute money to the household, 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.

Compare This Loser Is You, Hikikomori and The Slacker. There's also a Spanish version of this trope, called Ni-Ni note .

Not to be confused with Keet, though a keet NEET could exist.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Satou, the main character in Welcome to the N.H.K..
  • Jiji, Banba, Mayaya, Chieko, and Tsukimi from Princess Jellyfish 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 Crayon 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 works as a web designer and earns more than his wife. There was a brief period during episode 4 between these two where he was a NEET.
  • All six of the Matsuno brothers have become this in Osomatsu-san. They're all unemployed twenty-somethings still living with their parents, and whenever they do manage to get jobs they can't keep them for more than one episode. Their mother goes so far as to address them as NEETs to their faces.
  • The main character of AIKI gets called a NEET by his mother when she shows up... which amuses the hell out of the rest of the main characters, who can't quite connect "NEET" and "Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy" together. Shortly afterwards, though, his mother forces him into a job as a teacher at a school focused on the martial arts.

  • 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.

    Light Novels 


     Tabletop Game 

     Video Games 
  • 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).
  • Jason Brody, protagonist of Far Cry 3: the in-game description says that he has only worked odd jobs since leaving college. We are not told how he has financed a long string of extreme sports trips and a holiday in South East Asia, but it is possible that he is sponging off his "extremely rich friend" Oliver, who, in turn, is probably sponging off his father.
    Oliver: (proposing a toast) Here's to my black card, and to my daddy's black card!
  • Arngrim's crippled brother Roland from Valkyrie Profile gets labelled as this when his brother gets tired of his naive attitude of drawing arts for pleasure while it's him who sustains their living. Roland has a sounding excuse for him doing what he wants, causing Arngrim to reflect that everybody, even himself, has something they want to do in their life outside gaining money. Unfortunately, things don't go well for Roland. Arngrim commits suicide and becomes an einherjar while Roland continues to suffer. Then he suddenly disappears from the game.

  • 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.
  • Blaster Nation has Rinnie during it's first chapters, as she would rather freeload from her friend Kimmy, lives in her livingroom and doesn nothing but eat junkfood and write Yaoi Fanfiction, with Dan (Kimmy's boyfriend) constantly telling her to get a job or move out. She eventually realizes that she had reached bottom and tries to be a better person (with very slow steps, anyway).

    Web Original 
  • The lyrics to the famous Astroemeria remix of Bad Apple!! are about NEET/hikikomori depression.
  • Noob:
    • Sparadrap has made himself look like one until one of his guildmates found out what his job was. His guildmates either have a job or are students and Sparadrap has frequently been playing for a long time when they come home.
    • 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.

     Western Animation 
  • 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.

     Real Life 
  • 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.