This happens about once a week.
Another red-letter day in the life of Donald Duck
— off to yet another new
job! I'll probably be fired
by lunch, so expect me home early!"
An episode where a character gets a new job for a week or so
"Yea, I work about thirty-two jobs over the course of a week. I think it's interestin' that I've got thirty-two jobs and most *** say they can't find one!
. Often happens in teen sitcoms and teen dramas, where a character is forced to get a job by their parents to teach them An Aesop
about responsibility or the value of a dollar. At the end of the episode, they're usually allowed to quit so things can Snap Back
. It also might be some career, such as singing or cooking, that the character temporarily decides to pursue before something impedes them or they lose interest. If a character has George Jetson Job Security
, they might be forced to go through a New Job Episode
every so often till Mr. Spacely rehires them.
Basically, Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?
used as a plot device.
If the character is a teen, expect them to work at a crappy fast food joint
, a kiddie arcade/pizza place for snot-nosed brats and their parents celebrating their birthdays
, or in retail hell
(bonus points if it's an Expy of WalMart).
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Anime and Manga
- Karin / Chibi Vampire: Fumio Usui, Kenta's mother, suffers from this. Of course, half the time the fault is being a Hot Shonen Mom.
- Cardcaptor Sakura: Touya Kinomoto. He says it's to make money for college, but many believe that he does it to keep an eye on his sister Sakura. In the Manga version he does actually buy a motorcycle with it, but then he doesn't use it as hes afraid Sakura will try to follow on her rollerblades.
- Hot Gimmick : Shinogu Narita somehow manages to have a job in every single place his sister Hatsumi goes with Ryoki.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: In an effort to pay for extensive damages to public property, Panty and Stocking try out various jobs, though they eventually settle on gambling.
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: In order to be able to buy something to give Haruka for Christmas, Yuuto became a butler for one week. The antics of his sister and his homeroom teacher cost him almost all he earned so he's briefly seen holding another job in another episode.
- In the children's book "Bea and Mister Jones" Mr. Jones is tired of his job in advertising, and his daughter Bea is tired of kindergarten. They decide to switch. Bea dresses in daddy's suit and becomes the hero of the advertising company by coming up with the perfect motto for a product, and Mr. Jones becomes the teacher's pet at the kindergarten because he can recognize the colors, and could rescue a boy stuck up a tree.
- In the novel "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole, the main character Ignatius J. Reilly is sent out by his mother to find work after a disastrous drunk driving incident leads to a law suit. He finds two jobs, one in the office of a garment factory, the other as a hot dog seller. Both are disasters.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Buffy gets a job at a fast food restaurant in order to pay the bills after she is suddenly left in charge of her house and younger sister in the wake of mother's death. Subverted in that, after a wacky "mystery meat" filler episode that seemed to effectively end the job, Buffy went back and kept the job for a good while. Realistic enough, since the bills still needed paying.
- Xander having a different job every episode was a running gag throughout season 4, although he eventually settled into construction, which lasted several seasons (and came in handy a few times).
- Drake & Josh: The stepbrothers temporarily get jobs at a fish packaging plant in an homage to I Love Lucy's candy factory episode.
- Lizzie's job as a waitress in Lizzie McGuire.
- One episode of Clarissa Explains It All had the main character get a different after school job for every day of the week, which quickly burned her out after a while.
- Matthew in NewsRadio quits the radio station and ends up working at the coffee shop downstairs (but only for one day).
- On Friends, Joey has held several temporary jobs, including working at Chandler's office, Monica's restaurant, Ross's museum and even Central Perk (this one even lasted more than one episode).
- Every Bundy (even Peg's never-seen mother) has one on Married... with Children.
- While not the main plotline, one episode has Jefferson working his first day at a car wash when Steve Rhoades makes a return appearance as a chauffeur.
- Happened on The Brady Bunch a couple of times, with a couple of the kids. Peter got a job in a bike shop briefly in one, and Greg briefly worked for his dad at the architect firm, as a delivery boy.
- Happened with such regual frequency on Corner Gas that it was lampshaded in the season finale
Oscar: Why the hell settle? We never settled! I'm a paperboy one week, you teach piano the next, the next week Lacey's a hockey coach, Wanda's a real estate agent, Hank's an accountant, the cops have a radio show! We all try new things.
- Austin & Ally: Exaggerated and played for laughs. Trish is known for getting new jobs and getting fired quickly. She often gets more than one new job per episode.
- In That '70s Show, Eric becomes a Burger Fool because his family needs the extra money, but quits because he doesn't get to spend much time with his girlfriend.
- Family Guy has a number of episodes of this type, with Peter starting some business or getting on with some scam. However, unlike a lot of shows, Peter's regular job is subject to periodic change; some of these seemingly one-shot job episodes, around season openers mostly, have stuck for years, so it's sometimes not completely obvious until the end of the episode whether he'll go back to his old job, stay at the new one, or be unemployed again and need to seek a job in later stories.
- The Simpsons is infamous for this. Homer boasts an unbelievably long résumé. Among the episodes that Lampshade this are these gems:
- "Homer's Enemy", wherein hardworking Frank Grimes, who has had to struggle his way through life, learns that incurably lazy Homer has, among other accomplishments, met ex-President Gerald Ford, toured with a rock group, and been to outer space:
Grimes: (Pointing to a photo) Hey, is that...
: Yep. That's me. And the man standing next to me is former President Gerald Ford. And that's me on tour with The Smashing Pumpkins
. And that's me in outer space!
Grimes: You... Went into outer space? You?
Homer: Sure. You've never been? Want to see my Grammy Award?
- "Papa's Got a Brand-New Badge", where the list is long enough that Marge manages to get completely ready for bed (including putting rolls in her 3 feet of hair) before it's over. The quote: "I've had a lot of jobs in my life: boxer, mascot, astronaut, baby proofer, imitation Krusty, truck driver, hippie, plow driver, food critic, conceptual artist, grease salesman, carny, mayor, grifter, bodyguard for the mayor, country western manager, garbage commissioner, mountain climber, farmer, inventor, Smithers, Poochie, celebrity assistant, power plant worker, fortune cookie writer, beer baron, Kwik-E-Mart clerk, homophobe, and missionary, but protecting people, that gives me the best feeling of all."
- That quote doesn't even list a few others he's been: He's also served in the military in both the Army and Navy Reserve and he's also been a fast food employee, a spring salesman, a snake oil salesman (together with Grandpa), a monorail engineer, a community safety watchdog, a community college teacher, an chiropractor, an employee for a mini-golf place, a fisherman, an organic juice maker, a mall Santa, a bounty hunter, an extortionist (collecting money for Fat Tony), webmaster (as "Mr. X"), an ice-cream man, a volunteer fireman, pilot, safety technician, a police informant (more than once), a blackjack dealer, and he worked at Praiseland (a separate instance from when he was a carny at a regular carnival). Not technically jobs include leader of a Brotherhood of Funny Hats, and a vigilante (both in the pastry wielding and standard gun wielding variety)
- Teen Titans: Beast Boy gets a job at Mega Meaty Meat Hut, which is the last place he wants to work, as he's a vegetarian.
- However, this is later averted, as the manager of the restaurant is actually an alien that strongly resembles block tofu and wants to replace meat with a vegetarian friendly option.
- Kim Possible: Played straight and subverted. In the Season 1 episode "Bueno Nacho," Kim gets a job to buy a new jacket and pulls Ron in with her. Despite Ron's success at the job, both have quit/lost their job by the end of the episode. In Season 4, "The Big Job" provides subversion and playing it straight as both Kim and Ron try to find jobs. Kim finds one at Club Banana relatively easy, but Ron spends the whole episode finding and losing strange jobs until being employed by Smarty Mart. Both of these jobs would last through the season and even be mentioned, have characters seen working there, or have episodic plots relating to them.
- 6teen: Effectively every single episode, as Jonesy is the poster boy for George Jetson Job Security. He has a tendency to be lazy, irresponsible, or to just plain suck at the job in question.
- Daria features an episode where the titular character works at a shop dispensing nuts.
- On Mission Hill, a two-part episode details the closing of the waterbed store where Andy worked and his eventual hiring by Jim at an advertising agency.
- Happens frequently to Timmy's Dad on The Fairly Oddparents, despite being shown to have a regular job at a pencil factory/office in most episodes. Nevertheless he's had episodes where he became an astronaut, a farmer, sock monkey salesman, a scientist and an episode where he swapped jobs every five seconds. Timmy's Mom goes through the same things, while usually shown as either a realtor/home wife, she's had episodes focusing on a carreer change such as when she became a weather girl.
- Despite his age, poor health and irate, racist behavior, Unckle Ruckus from The Boondocks has worked in dozens of careers. In one episode he mentions having 32 jobs every week, justifying this trope.
- While SpongeBob loves his job at the Krusty Krab, there have been times where he has been forced to get another job temporarily. He has worked for Plankton at the Chum Bucket in "Welcome to the Chum Bucket", in "Model Sponge" he has also been a model for a new sponge commercial, and in "SpongeBob, You're Fired", has him work at different fast food restaurants.