"Krusty Krab is unfair! Mr. Krabs is in there! Standing at the concession! Plotting his oppression!"
This is an episode where a character or group of characters, feeling overworked, underpaid or underappreciated, decides to take action against his bosses and go on strike. Common elements of a strike, such as picket lines, tense negotiations and scabs may ensue.
The Strike may be a result of a Weird Trade Union
if examples come from people who really shouldn't strike.
It should be noted this has nothing to do with bowling or baseball
, or episodes about writers
, although they may overlap if they occur around the same time.
Anime & Manga
- Little Witch Academia has an episode where the fairies that work at Luna Nova go on strike demanding for more magic allowance. Without their contributions, the castle's technology becomes unusable to the students and teachers. Akko tries to mediate between the school and the union, but winds up sympathizing with them.
- Shounen Hollywood had its members strike out towards the end of the second season in reaction to former member Shima Hayamizu offering to reform and advertise for the group in exchange for destroying Hollywood Tokyo. For at least two episodes, they hole themselves up in the theater and barricade the doors to prevent anyone from coming inside, while they decide for themselves what they want to do with the group moving forward. In the end, it turns out that Shima changes his mind about the deal because of how passionate they were.
- In the The Railway Series story, "Trouble in the Shed", Gordon, James, and Henry go on strike and refuse to fetch their own coaches, having been humiliated in the previous chapter, "Tenders and Turntables". With Thomas running his branch line and Edward having to tackle the Tender Engines' work on his own, Sir Topham Hatt is inspired to get another tank engine, in the form of Percy. After being punished for going on strike, the Tender Engines soon regret their decision and promise to work hard again in the next chapter, "Percy Runs Away". This story was also adapted into an episode of the first season of the Animated Adaptation, Thomas the Tank Engine.
- All in the Family: In at least one episode, Archie's union goes on strike.
- Babylon 5: The A-plot of season one's "By Any Means Necessary" revolves around a major labor dispute with B5's dockworkers' union following a major accident. Commander Sinclair is sympathetic but is forced into a confrontation by the Senate's strikebreaker, who makes a token attempt at negotiating an end (read: threatening the strikers to back down) before invoking the Rush Act, which commands Sinclair to end it "by any means necessary". Sinclair uses this authority to give in to the strikers' demands, remarking to the Senate's man, "You should never hand someone a gun unless you're sure where they'll point it."
- Boy Meets World had an episode where Corey and Shawn go on strike after being given a test when they were promised not to be tested on the material (appropriately enough, The Grapes of Wrath). To the teacher's credit, he did admit it was clear the learned a lot from the book.
- Defied on an episode of Corner Gas, wherein the policemen of Dog River decide to do a "work-to-rule" strike, and tell so to the town mayor. The mayor just brings out the rulebook. They decide it's not worth the hassle.
- Duck Dynasty: The employees of Duck Commander, unhappy with the changes that Willie Robertson sought to impose (such as no longer using the meeting room as a lunch area), go on strike. It comes to an end by the end of the episode when Phil and Mrs. K Robertsons intervene to try to get Willie and his brother Jase to work out their differences.
- The Frasier episode "Sleeping with the Enemy" involves the radio crew going on strike after they don't get their annual raise.
- Life with Derek: The B-plot of "Grade a Cheater" involves the three younger siblings of Derek and Casey- Edwin, Lizzie and Marti- protesting against doing chores until they get paid more allowance for all the work they do.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Bar Association" has Rom unionize the other workers at Quark's bar, demanding better pay and working conditions, which attracts unpleasant attention from the anti-union Ferengi authorities.
- The first season finale of Superstore has the Cloud 9 employees go on strike to protest Glenn's firing and the store's lax medical compensation. (These are related. Glenn was fired after he suspended Cheyenne with pay in a thinly veiled attempt to give her the maternity leave she was entitled to.) The strike gets resolved in the second season premiere with no real change.
- Taxi: The cabbies go on strike to protest working conditions.
- 21 Jump Street: In the "Blu Flu" episode, the whole cast of police officers is on a strike, sans Captain Fuller, as Police Captains apparently are considered "administrative personnel" and as such have no right to be unionized. Hanson even is an active participant of his trade union, and as such takes part in official negotiations between the trade union and the municipality.
- The opening lines of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" has an unemployed man named Tommy facing tough times after he loses his job at the docks when the union went on strike, and had to pawn his guitar for extra money, while his girlfriend Gina becomes the breadwinner and has to work overtime at the diner to make ends meet.
- Archer featued a strike by the ISIS agency support staff. A good deal of the humor dealt with the fact that they work for a secret spy agency and cannot name the reason they are striking in the picket line. The locals get confused as to why they are protesting the dry cleaning company that serves as their front.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Will Work for Ed", Eddy strikes on Ed's behalf when Rolf keeps deducting his pay while he's his "nincompoop".
- Futurama: Bender becomes a scab at a bending plant in "Bendless Love".
- In the Hey Arnold! episode, "Teacher's Strike", the teachers of Arnold's school go on strike because of inadequate funding. At first, Arnold and his friends are on cloud nine, but they start running into the teachers doing part-time jobs, and find out that every lost school day will be taken from their summer vacation.
- In The Proud Family, due to the small size of their allowances, Penny convinces the kids to go on strike and not do chores. They all get kicked out, and they all eventually return to their parents and negotiate.
- On one episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Stimpy walks out after the Sidekicks Union calls a strike. Ren tries to replace him with scab sidekicks.
- In the The Loud House episode, "Chore and Peace", Lincoln figures that he's got a raw deal when his chore is taking out the trash all by himself, which is a herculean task when living with ten sisters (one of them being a baby) as well as a dog, a cat, a bird, and a toilet-trained hamster. He decides to go on strike until one of his sisters agrees to trade chores with him, but all this does is inspire his sisters to go on strike in response, and the trash accumulates. It gets to the point where the garbage in his second-youngest sister Lisa becomes sentient. The episode ends with the garbage being taken out and the strikes ending, but Lincoln finds out the garbage workers are on strike for more money, and now he and his sisters are striking to get pay for their chores.
- In the Rugrats episode, "Angelica's Last Stand", Angelica opens a lemonade stand, and Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil convince her to hire them as her helpers. When Angelica refuses to share the money she makes with the babies, Susie convinces the babies to go on strike. Angelica tries to handle her lemonade stand on her own, but without the babies' help, it goes out of business.
- The Simpsons:
- In the famous episode "Last Exit to Springfield", Homer becomes the leader of the power plant's union and leads a strike against Mr. Burns when he revokes their dental plan (because Lisa needs braces).
- In another episode "The PTA Disbands", a disastrous field tip and Principal Skinner cutting the school's budget to the point that he's selling the kids' futures short leads Edna Krabappel and the other teachers to agree to a teacher's strike. While Bart revels in the strike by making mischief, Lisa suffers from not being in a classroom setting, Milhouse gets a tutor, and the PTA decides to hire neighborhood people as scab teachers.
- In "Hungry, Hungry Homer", Homer goes on a hunger strike after he discovers that the owner of the Springfield Isotopes is trying to move them to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- In the Sonic Boom episode, "Strike!", Orbot and Cubot, fed up with Dr. Eggman's shabby treatment of them, follow Amy's advice on starting a strike. When Dr. Eggman's other robots (which he built for other reasons) fail miserably at cleaning up simple messes, they join Orbot and Cubot's strike, forcing Eggman to hire Mike the Ox, Fastidious Beaver, and Wolfie as Scab minions.
- South Park: The episode "Canada on Strike" features the World Canadian Bureau (WGA) going on strike for "more money".
- Spongebob Squarepants: The episode "Squid on Strike" has Squidward fed up with Mr. Krabs' greed and convinces SpongeBob to go on strike with him. SpongeBob proves to be so terrible at it that Squidward ends up wanting his job back so he wouldn't have to strike with him. Squidward goes up to Mr. Krabs to beg for his job back, but it turns out Krabs was even more desperate to get rid of the annoying teenagers he replaced them with. After a little negotiation, it seems things will go back to normal... but when SpongeBob takes the strike too far and vandalizes the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs forces them both to work there "forever".
- In addition to the adaptation of "Trouble in the Shed" (see the Literature section) Thomas the Tank Engine also gives us the episode, "Goodbye Fat Controller", wherein the engines believe that Sir Topham Hatt is leaving the Island of Sodor and are worried he will be replaced with a new controller. They go on strike in response, but the strike soon ends when Sir Topham Hatt explains that he is simply having his office redecorated.