Take This Job And Shove It
Ya'll better not try to stand in my way
As I'm walking out the door
Take this job and shove it!
I ain't workin' here no more!
A character is in a job that's making him or her miserable by the day. Never mind that it's their (probably only) source of income; the plain and simple of it is, the job sucks and is draining them of their energy and patience.
Maybe it's a Dangerous Workplace
they're employed to. Maybe they're working for Incompetence, Inc.
. Very possibly, there's No Such Thing as H.R.
. Perhaps they have perpetual insecurity about how safe their job is,
and it's not helped by the overbearing supervisor or office manager they've got.
Maybe they just recently got Promoted to Scapegoat
or have to put up with an incompetent boss.
It could be that they're the Beleaguered Assistant
, or the Only Sane Employee
in an office populated by those who should rightly be certified insane. Or, chances are good they've been subjected to the Delegation Relay
one time too many. Or perhaps the boss is a Corrupt Corporate Executive
and the character's morals can't allow them to stick around that kind of environment.
The reasons vary, but the result is the same. Resentment
builds... Tranquil Fury
is fostered... and then the character's patience goes flying out the window.
"You know what? TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT!"
Depending on the situation and the person who delivers the line or its equivalents, it can be a Crowning Moment of Awesome
, even more so if the recipient thoroughly deserved it.
Bonus points if the employer/supervisor is a parent or relative
or somebody who's SUPPOSED to be a good guy.
Note that it doesn't have to be the word-for-word line of this trope's title that is said; the manner of Rage Quit
displayed against the supervisor/boss is essentially the heart of the trope.
Be careful, though; if done too often, it may lead others to query why you always leave one job after another
(in which case, it might be you
who has the real problem). If the person goes on a violent rampage instead of simply quitting, that's Going Postal
. If they have to return humbly, that's Crossing the Burnt Bridge
See also Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
(a related trope which isn't strictly related to work).
- Played in the most hilarious and heartwarming way in Gundam Build Fighters: Aila quits her role as representative of Team Nemesis, after Reiji gives her a long-awaited opportunity to leave by promising her a spot in Sei's house; she then proceeds to call everyone on her former team out in the process.
- Take This Job And Shove It (1981), starring Robert Hayes. Its title was taken from the Trope Naming song (which, incidentally, was part of the movie's soundtrack; see the music section below for information on the song).
- In Demolition Man, Lenina Huxley (played by Sandra Bullock) finally grows exasperated with her police chief and tells him to "take this job and shovel it." John Spartan (played by Sylvester Stallone) points it out moments later:
John Spartan: "Take this job... and shovel it."
Huxley: (uncertainly) Yeah...?
) ...close enough.
- In Wanted, Wesley quits his job in a spectacular fashion; slamming all of his co-workers and breaking his keyboard across the face of a particular one who'd been sleeping with Wesley's already unfaithful girlfriend.
- The most recent version of The Producers has Leo Bloom pull one of these on his boss. And then on Max later on when Springtime for Hitler defines its trope, too.
- One of the most famous scenes in Half Baked is this trope.
Scarface: (at random customers)
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool
, and FUCK YOU! I'm out!
- In The Incredibles, Bob's patience with his humdrum insurance job and his Obstructive Bureaucrat boss Mr. Huph finally snaps when Mr. Huph threatens to fire him for wanting to stop a mugging in progress. Mr. Huph gets Punched Across the Room and through several walls and winds up in a full body cast. Oops.
Bob: I'm fired, aren't I?
Rick Dicker: Oh, you think?
- That Thing You Do!: Jimmy quits the band in the middle of a recording session by singing, "I quit... I quit... I quit, Mr. White!"
- Quadrophenia: When hauled up in front of his boss for being AWOL from work after his arrest and charge for being involved in the Brighton riots, Jimmy is effectively put on final written warning. In response to his boss telling him that "many people would give their eye-teeth for your job", Jimmy tells him to "FIND ONE, THEN!", and continues "You can take that mail, and that franking machine, and you can shove them RIGHT UP YOUR ARSE!"
- This was the attitude of most of the characters in Office Space, although most of them ultimately end up back in similar jobs. In fact, the song "Take This Job and Shove It" was sampled in the closing credits track "Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee".
- An literal example happens near the end of Rush Hour when Detective James Carter is offered a job with the FBI by some FBI officials-a job that he considered "a dream come true." However he has this to tell them:
Carter: Why don't ya'll... take that badge... and shove it up your ass. All of your asses. I'm LAPD.
- In Licence to Kill, when James Bond is confronted by M for not adhering to his duties as double-O agent in trying to avenge Felix Leiter:
M: This private vendetta of yours could easily compromise Her Majesty's government. You have an assignment, and I expect you to carry it out objectively and professionally.
Bond: Then you have my resignation, sir!
M: We're not a country club, 007!
- In Mary Poppins, after being speechless throughout his dismissal, George Banks decides he should say something to his superiors: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"
Mr. Dawes, Sr.: What are you talking about, man? There's no such word!
Banks: Oh yes! It is a word! A perfectly good word! Actually, do you know what there's no such thing as? It turns out, with due respect, when all is said and done, that there's no such thing as YOU!
- This is what Woody Guthrie does in Bound for Glory after his radio station tries to make him play non-controversial, non-political songs. The fact that it's The Great Depression and the radio job lifted his family out of poverty and got them a house does not bother Woody.
- The episode "Alice Quits" of Workaholics gives us two eamples of this trope. First, Alice Quits, telling Travis to "Fuck off and eat a dick!", and then Jet Set quits in an even greater example.
Jet Set: What's happening here? This is not the Tel America Corp that I used to know. I look around, I recognize nothin'! Where's all the smiles, the giggling? Can someone tell me where the giggling at, huh?
Travis: Jessie, if you wanna talk, step into my office.
Jet Set: Travis, before you got here, we was all friends. Work was fun. We used to love to walk through that door. But now, since you been here? This place is silent!
Travis: Jessie, calm down.
Jet Set: Bitch, my name is Jet motha-fuckin Set! But you can call me Patrick Swayze, cause guess what? I'm ghost.
- The Prisoner does this with his espionage job during the opening credits. It's apparently what causes his former bosses to capture him and send him to the Village.
- Chuck. The title character said this to Emmett at the end of the show's second season. At that point Chuck had realized he didn't need his cover at the Buy More since he was intersect free. He also had a lot more experience so he could easily find another job. Casey also quit too. Though despite this, he always manages to find himself back at the Buy More.
- In an early episode Roseanne quits her job at the plastics factory this way. The entire workforce follows suit and walks off the job behind her.
- This is essentially Geoffrey's reaction on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when the kids fake his winning lottery ticket.
- Happens several times on Drop the Dead Donkey, particularly to Henry when an old friend dupes him into thinking he has been offered a BBC job which turns out not to exist, and in the final series where Globelink is shutting down and some employees believe they can get better payouts if they get fired rather than simply laid off.
- One of the episodes of the final season of Family Matters called A Pain In Harassment had Harriot having to deal with an unruly supervisor who constantly belittled his employees and rejected any suggestions they made. No one dared speak out against him for fear of losing their job. However Harriot eventually gets fed up and tells him off, leading to this exchange.
BOSS: You're fired! Ooh that felt good.
HARRIOT: I quit! That felt better!
- Early on in the pilot episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White worked as a cashier at a car wash for additional income where his boss Bogdan constantly has him wax cars, which Walt detested. As soon as Walt receives his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer later on in the episode, Walt completely snaps at Bogdan when he tried to make him wax cars again, and then storms out the door.
Walt: Fuck you, Bogdan!
:I said, fuck you and your eyebrows
- In one of Seinfeld's most famous stories, George does one of these, only to gradually realize he's made a big mistake since he has no other prospects or skills. His (ineffective) solution is to go in on Monday and act like nothing happened. This was based on Larry David's having done the same thing when he was a writer for Saturday Night Live.
- In Review Forrest is asked to review the experience of quitting a job. His producer arranges for him to get a job which he instantly quits with a grand speech, before concluding it doesn't qualify unless you've worked there first. So he starts working at a coffee stand, overhauls how the stand runs, makes it much more successful and himself indispensable while getting along well with his co-workers, and was clearly happy to keep working there indefinitely until his producer reminds him of the point of the exercise. With obvious discomfort and guilt he repeats the same speech before walking out. Quitting your job didn't get a very good score.
Newspaper Comic Strips
- The Trope Namer is a song of the same title by David Allan Coe from his 1978 album Family Album. The song itself conveys the bitterness of a man who has worked long and hard at a thankless job. It has been covered by Johnny Paycheck (which spent two weeks at No. 1 on the country charts, making his version a case of Covered Up) and the Dead Kennedys, and sampled by rappers Canibus and Biz Markie on "Shove This Jay-Oh-Bee".
- Strapping Young Lad's "S.Y.L."
- The song "Last Day at Work" by Mikey Mason has the narrator playing a lot of pranks on his soon-to-be former workplace after finding a better job.
- CM Punk during "The Summer of Punk II" in WWE. Punk, sick and tired of all the crap he had to deal with in the WWE despite being one of the greatest wrestlers in the world (if not THE greatest), decided to walk out the door the moment his contract expired on July 18, 2011. He also decided to take the WWE Championship with him.
- He seems to have done the same thing after losing the Royal Rumble in 2014- he went home and hasn't come back since, for both matches and public appearances.
- There's an Urban Legend about a prank played on a guy by his co-workers. While out at dinner, they copied the numbers from his lottery ticket and gave them to a waitress. The waitress then came up and said the winning numbers had just been announced, if any one was interested, and read out the numbers they had given her. The man checked his ticket, double checked it, and then announced that he was quitting. He then went on to thoroughly insult his boss, all of his co-workers and also announced that he'd been having an affair with his secretary. End of job and end of marriage.
- In Cigarro & Cerveja, Cerveja's resignation letter is a very Cloud Cuckoolander-ish take on this, rather than an actively malicious one.
In the name of Thor, god of thunder and disco, I hereby abdicate my position of corporate lackey to my boss, who happens to be bald.
Smiles and lollipops,
- Liz does this pretty early on in Dead Winter, one she's fed up with the asshole customers and her assholier boss. Immediately after this, though, she realizes she's in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, making her dramatic exit sort of pointless (and dangerous, since later on her boss goes completely nuts and, as promised, starts hunting her down with murderous intent).
- In Pv P Robbie and Jase say this word for word to Cole when they win the lottery.
- The Simpsons had Homer quit his job at the power plant this way at least once, in the episode "And Maggie Makes Three," when he finished paying off the mortgage on his house. Here it is. Of course, as we all know, he had to return somehow.
- In another episode, when Homer was working at the Kwik-E-Mart to pay for Lisa's pony, after Lisa gives up the pony he tells Apu, "You can take this job and restaff it!" Referencing the song, but not the exact quote.
- In a different episode, "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy," Grandpa Simpson is working at Krusty Burger. He eventually quits after he starts complaining with his friends about what's not on the breakfast menu, plus the fact that he's supposed to be old. As he puts it:
The good Lord allows us to grow old for a reason: to gain the wisdom to find fault with everything He's made!
- After the election of Barack Obama, Randy Marsh of South Park triumphantly quits his job, telling his boss this. After all, Obama's going to make everything better, so he doesn't need a job anymore!
- Done by Bob on The Oblongs:
Bob: You can take this job and post it! As vacant! Because I quit!
- In the last episode of Beast Wars, Waspinator decides enough is enough and he opts out of the Beast Wars altogether.
Waspinator: Waspinator sick of being evil, sick of being Predacon! And Waspinator especially sick of GETTING BLOWN TO SCRAP ALL THE TIME! So, Waspinator quit! Hmph! As of now, which means Ant-Bot and Two-Head can just pucker their mandibles and plant big, wet juicy one right here on Waspinator's big, fat, stripey-
(Inferno and Quickstrike shoot Waspinator)
- One episode of Family Guy has Peter winning it big on the state lottery, and plays it up like he did this. Then subverts it. Then double subverts it.
: Angela, I just want to thank you for several extremely pleasurable years working here. Certain things have arisen creating a situation where I am no longer in need of employment. But I just want to go ahead and thank you and there is a giant poo on your desk
- The Undergrads episode Work Study has a subversion of this, as Nitz wants to leave his work on good terms, and Rocko steps in and does this trope for him.
Nitz: Yeah, see, somethings come up and I kinda dont need the work anymore, but you guys were cool to me, and I certainly dont want to burn any bridges-
Rocko: He aint working for the man no more, so you can take this job and cram it with some sexual harassment on top!