One of the trickiest things to deal with in a modern adventure series is how to handle the character's day job. Exactly how much time is your main character taking off work in order to save the world every week? No boss is going to be ''that'' understanding forever. Unless your character's job is an integral part of his adventures (such as a police officer starring in a police procedural, etc.) you've got to account for it all somehow.

Of course, there's a fix for it: Shortly before or after the story begins, the protagonist loses his comfortable ordinary job. This provides him with both a strong motivation to find a new source of income and a lot of free time to engage in more adventurous activities. It provides drama and possible story hooks while removing possible limitations on the plot. The downside is, well... [[FridgeLogic how is it that your hero is still living in that gorgeous penthouse apartment two months later?]]

See FriendsRentControl, StandardizedSitcomHousing and ImprobableFoodBudget for problems this can raise. Compare WhosWatchingTheStore for when characters remain employed and ''still'' take time off for the plot, with all the FridgeLogic that implies. See also GetUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld for situations in which this is ''not'' in effect, and the ramifications can be dire.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{ComicBook/Batwoman}} gets kicked out of military academy (job training counts, right?) because she was [[LesYay making out with her girlfriend]]; this allows her the free time to start training to become Batwoman.

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* After the post-intro TimeSkip, [[WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles Mr. Incredible]] is (presumably) fired by his boss for throwing him through several cubicle walls after said boss yelled at him for helping his clients and [[ChronicHeroSyndrome refused to let him stop a mugging going on outside.]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* ''Film/AspenExtreme'' starts with TJ employed as a low-level unskilled machinist. His boss offers him a promotion; TJ takes this as the opportune time to quit his job so he can follow his dream of becoming a ski pro.
* At the beginning of ''Film/BruceAlmighty'', Bruce is fed up with his job as a news reporter because they only give him crappy personal interest stories. He throws a tirade live on the air that ends with an [[PrecisionFStrike F-Bomb]], which immediately gets him fired. This causes Bruce to accuse God of messing up his life, thereby kicking off the main plot of the movie.
* In the 2005 remake of ''Film/FunWithDickAndJane'', Jane quits her job and Dick's company goes bankrupt due to Enron-style corruption on the same day. Since Dick was used as the scapegoat for the company, he's unable to find work, which drives most of the plot. In the original, only Dick loses his job, since Jane was a housewife.
* Doctors Venkman, Stantz and Spengler decide to go into business as the ''Film/{{Ghostbusters|1984}}'' after the NYU Board of Regents cuts their funding and kicks them off campus.
* In ''Film/GodBlessAmerica'', Frank wakes up, goes to work, and finds out he is fired, adding one more reason for him to go on a killing spree.
* Joe quickly leaves the job he hates in ''Film/JoeVersusTheVolcano''.
* ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'' begins with Robin Williams' character walking out of a cartoon voice-acting job in protest at the cartoon character smoking.
* In ''Film/OfficeSpace'', the main protagonist ''doesn't'' lose his job (by sheer chance) but his two deuteragonists lose theirs, kicking off their scheme.
* Daniel Jackson is laughed out of academia at the beginning of ''Film/{{Stargate}}'', allowing him to join the super-secret military program.
* A variation in ''Film/TheLibrarian'', where Flynn is kicked out of college, so that he could finally experience the real world. Almost immediately, he gets an offer to work for the New York Metropolitan Library (actually just a front for the real [[ArtifactCollectionAgency Library]] in the basement).

* In ''Literature/AmericanGods'', Shadow is released from prison and is travelling to his home to a job waiting for him. Unfortunately, his job is gone as the guy who was giving it to him is dead, leaving him free to work as Mr. Wednesday's bag man.
* Right at the start of Creator/PiersAnthony's ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' cycle of books, the hero, Stile, loses his job as a jockey because he has been nobbled by another stable - they sent a hit-man out to laser his knees and render him useless as a jockey. Stile's Citizen boss then terminates his contract.... all this is to give Stile an incentive to explore the parallel world of Phaze, where he discovers he is the missing Blue Adept.
* ''Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy'' has Mikael Blomkvist suspended from the magazine giving him the free time to work on the Vangar case, which is how everything gets rolling.
* This is the main plot of Velveteen Versus. She JUST wants to get to a job interview, but can't quite make it.
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'': Near the beginning of ''Literature/{{Memory}}'', Miles is fired from his job at [=ImpSec=]. Then a crisis arises in [=ImpSec=] that requires someone with inside knowledge but outside of the normal chain of command.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the beginning of the ''Series/BurnNotice'' pilot, Michael Westen is in the middle of a dangerous mission for the CIA when he discovers that he has been 'burned' by the agency. Not only was he fired, but the CIA also froze all his bank accounts and none of his coworkers and contacts will speak to him now. He is dumped in his home city of Miami and has to find out why he was burned while trying to build a new life for himself.
* Beginning of ''Series/{{Community}}'' has Jeff Winger lose his job as a lawyer because he never got his Bachelorís degree, allowing the wacky hijinks of the community college setting to kick off.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose "Rose"]], the title character has the department store she works at blown up by the Doctor, leaving her free to become a companion.
* ''Series/DontTrustTheBInApartment23'' opens with June arriving to her first day of work at a financing firm, but finds it in the midst of shutting down as the boss is being arrested. Thus she is unemployed before she even started work.
* On ''Series/{{Girls}}''', Hannah Horvath starts the first episode off being cut off from her parents and fired from her internship (when she demands it turn into full time employment). HilarityEnsues.
* ''Series/JustShootMe'': Maya is fired from her job as a writer at a newscast in the pilot, and is forced to work for her father's fashion magazine.
%%* The whole plot is on ''Series/TheNanny'' theme song.
* Sometime before the beginning of the story, but really the catalyst for the whole thing, in ''Series/VeronicaMars'' Keith Mars loses his job as the sheriff because of Lily Kane's murder, allowing him to open up his private detective firm and allowing the titular Veronica to start getting experience as a Private Eye.

* ''Webcomic/GingersBread'' starts this way, leading Ginger to start her own bakery.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'''s "Bender's Big Score" [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] it. First there's an opening montage of what everyone's job is, then the professor says, "You're all fired!" because the company is going out of business (or "cancelled", as part of the movie's thinly veiled TakeThat to the Fox network); then within minutes, they're rehired.
** A one-episode example is "The Cryonic Woman", which opens with Fry, Leela and Bender being fired and having to work at a cryogenics lab. [[StatusQuoIsGod They return to Planet Express by the end of the episode.]]
*** Incidentally, the pilot episode has Leela quitting her old job at that same cryogenics lab.
** Another example is "Brannigan, Begin Again", with Zapp Brannigan being fired and joining the Planet Express crew. Again, all is back to normal by the end.