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Film / 9 to 5

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Hart: I'm not such a bad guy!
Judy: You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!
Hart: So I have a few faults; who doesn't? Is that any reason to kill me?

Nine to Five is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Colin Higgins (who co-wrote the screenplay with Patricia Resnick), starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman.

When her husband leaves her for his secretary, Judy Bernly (Fonda) starts a new job at Consolidated Companies. She is befriended by Violet Newstead (Tomlin), an office manager who advises her on the best way to navigate through daily office life. The office is run by Frank Hart (Coleman), their vulgar, sexist, and somewhat incompetent boss who spends a good chunk of his time hitting on his unreceptive secretary Doralee Rhodes (Parton) and spreading rumors that they're sleeping together, which leads to her being ostracized by her co-workers.

After Violet is denied another deserved promotion (which is given to a man she trained, no less), she, Judy, and Doralee begin bonding over their hatred of their boss, sharing with one another their personal fantasies of bringing him down. Hilarity Ensues when Violet accidentally puts rat poison into Hart's coffee; he finds out about it and tries to use the knowledge to blackmail Doralee, prompting the three women to kidnap him and hold him prisoner in his own house until they can figure out a way to fix the situation. In the meantime, they have to conceal Hart's absence and keep the office running as though he were still present...

Upon release, the film was incredibly successful and was the highest-grossing comedy of that year. It was subsequently adapted into a TV sitcom that aired sporadically between 1982 and 1988. In 2008, it was also turned into a stage musical.

This film has examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Frank Hart is revealed to be so disliked around the offices of Consolidated Companies (by both men and women) that while the three leads are holding him hostage in his own home, the only person who questions Hart's absence is his administrative assistant, Roz, whom Violet sends away on a multi-week French training.
  • Aborted Arc: It is heavily suggested that Hart got his job through family connections: his wife is related to the company's board chairman, Mr. Tinsworthy. This never really figures into the plot, however, and it seems the only reason this is part of Hart's backstory is to make him even more of a scumbag and undercut whatever natural talents he'd need to actually get and hold his position.
  • Actor Allusion: Doralee is said in the epilogue to have quit the company and started a career as a country music singer like her actress Dolly Parton.
  • The Alcoholic: Margaret, though she goes into rehab later.
  • And Starring: "And Sterling Hayden as The Chairman of the Board".
  • Arc Words: "You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!"
  • Ate the Spoon: Happens when Violet fantasizes about putting poison in Hart's coffee (which she accidentally does later on in the film).
  • Award-Bait Song: The title song, performed by Dolly Parton, was nominated for an Oscar, and won two Grammys. It also became the second single ever by a female Country artist to top both Billboard's Country chart and the main Hot 100 chart, topping the latter for two non-consecutive weeks in 1981.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Played with. Everyone in the office knows that Roz hangs out in bathroom stalls to hear what the women gossip about in order to report it back to Hart. To make sure she isn't listening to their conversations, they check for her shoes. Later on, Roz has found a way around this by lifting her feet off the floor. She is able to report back to Hart that the main characters accidentally put poison in his coffee.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Doralee is quite possibly the sweetest person in the office who tries to see the best in everyone and doesn't have a mean word to say to anyone, really. That is, of course, except Hart. She threatens to shoot him with a gun she keeps in her purse and ends up hog-tying him using a telephone wire.
  • Blackmail: Each side against the other. Frank uses Sexual Extortion with Doralee so they could keep quiet about the accidental attempt to poison him, and Violet, Doralee, and Judy in turn threaten to expose Frank's embezzlement scheme with Consolidated's merchandise for his silence about the incident.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Look at the movie poster and guess which three are part of the Power Trio. (Hint: it's not Mr. Hart.)note 
  • Bondage Is Bad: Judy's ex-husband Dick pays her a visit at Hart's house, which she claims she is housesitting for a friend, until she gets mysteriously called away by the noise of her boss breaking free of his bonds. Dick finds Frank in what he thinks is bondage gear, and starts thinking evil of his ex-wife for having an affair with her boss in this manner. Judy retaliates by reminding Dick of his affair with his secretary, and shoves him out the door to be rid of him.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In Judy's fantasy, she fires several rounds from a double-barrel shotgun without ever re-loading. Justified Trope: as it's a weed-induced fantasy.
  • Bound and Gagged: Frank Hart gets this treatment from the three leading lady secretaries that work for him. Judy's ex-husband Dick sees her with Frank in the bedroom with chains, collars, and restraints and thinks that she's Sleeping with the Boss and into BDSM.
  • Brains and Bondage: Judy is perceived to be into this by her ex-husband Dick when he catches her in the bedroom with her boss Frank Hart while she, Doralee, and Violet were holding him hostage.
  • Brick Joke: The final shot of the film, after the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, is Franklin still in bondage gear, accidentally stringing himself up thinking the emergency button is the television remote.
  • Business of Generic Importance: It's never clear what Consolidated Companies do, since the name gives no clues and the main characters spend most of their work time shuffling paperwork related to internal processes like the office decor policy. The fact that Frank's embezzlement scheme involves redirecting merchandise suggests that Consolidated has some kind of physical product, but it's never seen outside of the generic shipping crates.
  • But Thou Must!: Mr. Tinsworthy is a man who doesn't take no for an answer. This makes Hart get sent to Brazil.
  • Casual Kink: Judy's ex-husband Dick catches her in Frank Hart's bedroom while she's holding him hostage for blackmail and assumes that she's into BDSM. Judy uses this belief to her advantage in order to get rid of her ex-husband.
  • Catchphrase / Running Gag:
    Margaret: Atta girl!
    • When each of the three main women hears about one of Hart's atrocities, they come out with an incredulous "What!?"
  • Chained to a Bed: Violet, Doralee, and Judy go much further than just chaining Hart to a bed — they install a restraining system that uses a garage door opener mechanism to keep Frank from harming any of the three secretaries should he try to make his escape. Judy's ex-husband Dick catches her in the bedroom with Frank attached to this security system and thinks that she's Sleeping with the Boss and into BDSM. Mrs. Hart comes home to find her husband attached to the system and later tells the story that it was some sort of exercise machine that he installed.
    • At the end of film, prior to the credits, a flashback scene has Frank Hart accidentally triggering the restraining system when he thinks he's using the remote to change the channel on his TV.
  • Chair Reveal: Done during Judy's Imagine Spot - when Hart thinks he's safely reached his office, his chair turns to reveal Judy (with a shotgun).
  • Chekhov's Gag: Throughout the early first half of the film, Hart keeps sitting on his desk chair, only for malfunction, with Hart loudly complaining to Doralee about getting it fixed. It ends up saving his life with Hart falling back and knocking himself out just before he would drink his rat-poisoned coffee.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The yellow box of rat poison that looks like Skinny & Sweet.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Violet's ability to fix/install a garage door opener comes in handy when it is time to restrain Hart in his own house.
    • Doralee’s ability to sign Hart’s signature helps the memos issued by “Hart” to look authentic.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Violet's son offers to roll her a marijuana joint to get her mind off her problems at work, which she initially refuses and argues against, but when her son asks how long she's been waiting for the promotion, Violet casually says, "Slip it in my purse." Later on, the joint gets shared with Doralee and Judy in an "old fashioned ladies' pot party" at Doralee's house where they end up sharing their revenge fantasies.
  • Color Motif: In the final scenes at the office, the women are in red, white, and blue: Doralee in red, Judy in white, and Violet in blue. This is especially noticeable in the final freeze-frame shot of them drinking champagne.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive. Hart, big time.
  • Deadpan Snarker. Violet.
    Violet: Thank you, Roz. I know just where to stick it.
  • Destination Defenestration: After Violet poisons Hart in her Imagine Spot, she uses his office chair to launch him out the window.
  • Disney Creatures of the Farce: Violet's Imagine Spot (complete with Hart getting the Disney Villain Death). She's accompanied by the characters from Robin Hood (1973).
  • Disneyesque: Violet has a fantasy while thinking of a way to do in Mr. Hart. Dressed as Snow White, she poisons Hart's coffee with help from animated creatures.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: If you're going to cast Dolly Parton, this is pretty much a given.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: When the trio go to the bar, Violet and Judy drink cocktails, while Doralee drinks beer.
  • Embarrassing Slide: Judy suggests they blackmail Hart with compromising sex photos of him. Violet dismisses this, saying Hart would probably make duplicates and send them out as Christmas cards.
  • Epic Fail: Doralee relates how she was going to turn the tables on a mugger and ward him off with her gun. She instead shot a hole in her purse. Subverted in that it did scare the mugger away.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: When Judy loosens Hart's bonds, he immediately gets free of them and goes over to the telephone. She says that he promised not to try to escape. He replies, "I Lied," and dramatically picks up the phone... only for the phone cord, broken by Doralee earlier, to whip around comically.
  • False Reassurance: Whenever Violet assures Roz that she's reading Roz's micromanaging memos, her wording alludes to her real feelings about them. "I just ripped right through it!"
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Violet, Judy, and Doralee become fast friends after a pot party ("It's called 'Maui Wowie'"), realizing they're all suffering the same pink collar ghetto nightmare.
  • Foreshadowing: Parts of the trio's imagination sequences come true the following two days after they have them. On the following day (after the sequences) Violet accidentaly puts rat poison in Hart's coffee (like she did in her sequence, but without the imaginary animals). Then on the second day, Doralee ties him up with telephone cords and a scarf (like Doralee's fantasy sequence). Then (on the same day) after freeing Hart (from being tied up by Doralee), Judy shoots (at) him with Doralee's gun (you guessed it, like in her sequence).
  • Forged Message: The three ladies write corporate messages outlining changes in their policies, passing them off as signed by the boss' own hand (actually Doralee's, who said she can sign his name better than he can). Truth in Television: Many secretaries are trained to do their boss' signature.
  • Freudian Threat: Finally losing her temper at Hart, Doralee threatens to "get that gun of mine, and turn you from a rooster to a hen in one shot!"
  • Freudian Trio: Violet is the Id (sarcastic and weary), Judy is the Ego (reserved and rational) and Doralee is the Superego (easy-going and folksy).
  • Gilligan Cut: Judy remarks she tried marijuana once, and it did nothing for her at the time and doesn't understand the appeal, the other two going "Hm." Cut to all three women laughing like loons during their pot party.
    Judy: [stoned] This is... this is... really good pot!
  • Grew a Spine: Judy starts as a Shrinking Violet, to telling her ex off, "Hit the road, buster! This is where you get off!"
  • Groin Attack: Doralee threatens to turn her boss Frank Hart "from a rooster to a hen with one shot" with her gun if he makes one more indecent proposal.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Doralee has golden blonde hair, is Happily Married, and quite possibly the nicest person in the office space.
  • Human Head on the Wall: Played for Laughs. Judy's fantasy about getting even with Bad Boss Frank is to hunt him down like wild game. It ends with Frank's head mounted on Judy's office.
  • Humiliation Conga: Inverted. Just as Mr. Hart is about to throw the heroines in jail for kidnapping him, the Boss of Bosses makes a surprise visit to his floor, to see all the innovations they have added in his name — plans Hart knows nothing about, and would have rejected (and is planning to undo as it is). The ladies proceed to take the Big Boss on a tour of the floor, giving Hart all the credit for everything they themselves have actually done, as other employees showers him with praise. But Hart is being shown the truth — every idea he would have opposed worked, and the office actually runs better without him around. At the end, he's given a promotion... not to the top floor like he wanted, but to head their operations in Brazil. And he can't even take revenge on them; having them arrested would reveal the truth, making him a laughing stock.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The basis of Judy's Imagine Spot.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Both Violet and Doralee are this to Hart, but especially Violet.
  • Hypocrite: Judy might have returned to her husband Dick except he berated her for sleeping with her boss, and she realizes: "Just like you slept with your secretary?!"
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: All three ladies decide to leave work and head for Charlie's for a drink when faced with their individual work crises (Violet being passed over for a promotion, Doralee's advertised "affair with the boss", and Judy witnessing one of the co-workers being fired over a private discussion of wage differences). And at each of their departures, Margaret the alcoholic secretary simply says "Atta girl!"
  • Imagine Spot: While smoking Violet's son's pot one night, the ladies imagine how they'd like to get back at Mr. Hart. Each time, we get the Arc Words.
    • Judy imagines her and their co-workers hunting him. She says the line.
    • Doralee wants to turn the tables on him. Hers ends with her hog-tying him as a rodeo announcer says the line:
      Rodeo Announcer: Let's see how long it takes her to rope this sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!
    • Violet's is a Disneyesque scene and is Snow White-turned-psycho (see above) and poisons his coffee. This time, Mr. Hart says the line.
      Franklin Hart: But why? Why?
      Violet: Why do you think?
      Franklin Hart: 'Cause I'm a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot?
      Violet: Bingo! [ejects him out his office window]
  • Job Song: The song "9 to 5" is sung by the protagonist complaining about the system's lack of respect for her and her job.
  • Karma Houdini: An unusual heroic version. Although Hart was well-deserved being sent off to Brazil after claiming that Doralee, Judy, and Violet's work were all his, it doesn't change the fact that Doralee, Judy, and Violet all kidnapped their boss for weeks even if they had evidence against him. With only Roz wondering where he went, the staff probably didn't care much about him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Misogynist Hart captured by Amazons.
  • Male Gaze: Hart makes sure his pencils "accidentally" fall off his desk so he can get a nice aerial view of Doralee's chest when she bends down to pick them up.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Doralee holds Frank Hart's face right close to her bosom in her Imagine Spot of how to get even with him.
  • Mean Boss: Mr. Hart. Oh Lordy, Mr. Hart. However, it backfires later when the three heroines are easily able to fill in for him at work by issuing memorandums in his name.
    Doralee: I never realized how unpopular Hart is. Nobody wants to see him face to face.
  • Medium Blending: The trio get stoned and fantasize about killing their boss. All three fit the Art Shift trope, as the fantasies are filmed in distinctly different styles from the rest of the movie. Judy's "Hunting" fantasy is shot in a dark, film-noir style, Doralee's starts with the soft focus and warm lighting of a lighthearted western, and Violet's features adorable animated wildlife surrounding her in the office kitchen as she poisons his coffee.
  • Metaphorgotten: Lampshaded.
    Violet: What are you, a man or a mouse? [Beat] Or a woman or a wouse? [giggles]
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Inverted. Rather than anyone hanging from wires to avoid triggering a trap, the three leads rig up a remote-control cable harness for their kidnapped boss, which will reel him up to the ceiling as a trap if he tries to escape.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Dick accuses Judy of being into S&M. She hears it differently when she tries repeating it during her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Judy: ...and if I want to play sex games or do M&M's, you can't stop me.
    Dick: M&M's?!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Violet, when she thinks she's poisoned Hart.
  • Nerd Glasses: Judy's eyeglasses are octagonal and huge.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Doralee is one of the friendliest employees at Consolidated. Despite this, she's ostracized by her co-workers due to false rumors of her sleeping with Hart.
    • Mrs. Hart, who is oblivious to her husband's vices, even thinking he's nice for getting Doralee gifts, while any other wives would immediately suspect philandering. The three think she's too nice a woman to be married to Hart and pity her.
  • Noodle Incident: After the trio leave a corpse in the men's restroom at the hospital, a cleaning lady comes upon it, sighs, and yells to her unseen co-worker: "Hey, Vera. We've got another stiff in the john."
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: When the CEO comes to visit the office in the final, several of the panicked workers can be heard trying to figure out exactly what it is that Consolidated Companies actually does.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hart after Doralee's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Hart: ...shit.
    • When each of the girls realizes the corpse in the trunk is not Mr. Hart.
    • Later, Hart gets off another good one when being told where he's been reassigned:
    Hart: ...Brazil?!
  • Phrase Catcher: Everyone together: "You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot!" aimed at Hart several times, including Hart to himself during Violet's fantasy.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Evil variety. Also the straight-up incompetent sort, given that the performance of Hart's department drastically improves once the trio gets him and Roz out of the way. How much of this is due to his actual incompetence and how much is because the protagonists have made the office a more enjoyable place to work isn't really determined, other than the fact that Hart is supposed to be doing something at the office, even if only directly managing the department, and the fact that no one has noticed his job not getting done suggests that he wasn't so much incompetent as he was obstructive.
  • Poison Is Corrosive: Violet's Fantasy Sequence involves poisoning Hart's coffee with something that ends up dissolving a spoon.
  • Poison Is Evil: Played With when Violet (one of the heroines of the story) fantasizes about killing Mr. Hart. She imagines herself as Snow White, yet bumps him off by poisoning his coffee, to the general rejoicing of animated creatures and desk-chained employees. An animated vaporous skull-and-crossbones appears above the coffee cup when she pours in the toxin.
  • Poison Ring: In Violet's revenge fantasy, she doses Hart's coffee with poison from a large ring Violet is wearing.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • After introducing Judy to Hart, Violent covers part of his name on his office door, saying "He'll always be 'F. Hart' to me."
    • Sweet-as-sugar Doralee's suggestion what to do with Hart:
      I say we get us a couple wranglers to go upstairs and beat the shit out of him.
    • The final words of the film, spoken by Roz: "Ho-ly merde!"
  • Pretty in Mink: Mrs. Hart shows up wearing a full-length lynx coat. But it seems Mr. Hart would rather buy her expensive clothes than spend much time with her (as he was trying to seduce Doralee when Mrs. Hart shows up).
  • The Quisling: Roz. Despite being subject just as much to Hart's sexist policies and behavior, she seems completely submissive to his authority and acts as his corporate spy.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Patricia Resnick noted during her research that Doralee was based on a real secretary who was the nicest person on Earth — but everyone else in the office disliked her because they thought she was sleeping with the boss (she wasn't.)
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Doralee delivers one to Frank Hart when she gets fed up with his sexual harassment, and Judy delivers one to her ex-husband Dick after he catches her in Frank Hart's bedroom and assumes that she's now Sleeping with the Boss (and into BDSM).
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: The rare unwanted reassignment that's actually supposed to be a reward. Mr. Hart so impresses his superiors that he's promoted.... to the Brazilian branch of the company in the Amazon jungle.
  • Recovered Addict: Margaret is on her way to becoming this by the end of the film thanks to the encouraging letters from 'Hart', especially with her bright hair and upbeat attitude.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Tinsworthy. He genuinely seems like a Cool Old Guy and is willing to take Hart's division's unorthodox programs seriously — but isn't necessarily on board with all of them.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Cartoon forest animals appear in Violet's fantasy vision of doing in Mr. Hart (where she is dressed like Snow White).
  • Rhythm Typewriter: For the title song (although the sound is actually made by Dolly Parton's fingernails on a table).
  • Running Gag:
    • The same joke (about Hart being "a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot") is used in all three of the fantasy sequences.
    • The excuse that Skinny & Sweet, a sugar alternative, has the exact same box as rat poison, except for the skull and crossbones.
  • Searching the Stalls: During Judy's Imagine Spot, she searches in the restroom and bangs a stall door open to reveal Hart hiding there.
  • Sexy Secretary: Doralee is a subversion. She looks like this, and everyone else in the office thinks she's this, but she is horrified by the suggestion, and it leads to her joining the other two in their plot.
    • She's still a Sexy Secretary, but she's emphatically not sexing up the boss. Despite his best efforts and, as mentioned, what everyone else in the office believes (at least partially because the boss is doing his damnedest to imply that she is).
  • Sexy Sweater Girl: Doralee wears a few tight sweaters throughout the movie, and she's Dolly Parton in full blonde bombshell mode.
  • Shout-Out: Violet may be dressed as Snow White, but the animals are from Robin Hood (1973).
  • Showing Up Chauvinists: Hart is just as much a sexist (and sexual harassing) creep as he is a completely inept blowhard. The heroines kidnap him and keep him away from the office, taking over and implementing policies more favorable to the mostly-female staff, sending productivity through the roof.
  • Similar Item Confusion: When Violet is making coffee for her boss Mr. Hart, she accidentally adds rat poison instead of artificial sweetener. He luckily avoids drinking it and is not poisoned.
  • Sisterhood Eliminates Creep: The film is all about this. The three women plot to harm Hart, but do a feminist Heel–Face Turn in front of his boss to make him look better.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Doralee is accused of doing this, and Judy makes it look like that's what she's doing (with the added bonus of BDSM) to get rid of her ex-husband Dick.
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job: This is the background of the film. It centers around three women who revolt from this and take revenge on their boss, while simultaneously improving things at their job.
  • Stealing from the Till: The ladies discover that Hart has been falsifying the records involving a company warehouse to feather his own nest, and use this as blackmail.
  • Stealing the Credit: Hart takes credit for the accomplishments of his underlings, including passing off Violet's idea for handling invoices more efficiently to upper management as his own idea.
  • Stealth Pun: Hart was kidnapped by Amazons.
  • Stereo Fibbing: When the ladies are pulled over by the traffic cop, with someone's dead body in the trunk. Violet tells the cop that she's rushing a sick woman to hospital. When he asks which off them is sick, Judy and Doralee simultaneously claim "Me!", then after a beat simultaneously switch to "Her!". Violet breaks the impasse by saying it's both of them.
  • The Stoner: Violet's son. Later, the gals have an "old-fashioned ladies' pot party" with some "Maui Wowie" scored by Violet's son, though they're not habitual smokers.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: After Judy's ex-husband discovers that she has Mr. Hart Bound and Gagged in the bedroom, Judy finds it easier to agree with his Entertainingly Wrong conclusion (a kinky affair) than to explain the real situation. Doubly funny because this is apparently the first time she's even heard of the concept.
    Dick: So that's what you're into now: bondage.
    Judy: [confused] What's that?
    Judy: That's right! All of it.
  • The Teetotaler: Margaret when Hart returns, thinking he had been her sponsor for the company's new substance abuse division. (He wasn't, it was the trio using his name.)
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Parton's title song, which became a huge hit, and was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Invoked by a mailroom worker who uses this to intimidate Judy.
    Eddie: How am I supposed to get out of this mailroom prison if they keep hiring people from the outside? [to Judy] Lady, you're gonna hate it here.
  • Tied Up on the Phone: Doralee rips the phone cord out of the wall and uses it to tie up Frank Hart when he is about to use the phone to call the police on her, Violet, and Judy for their accidental attempt to poison him and to cover up the evidence.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: In Judy's revenge-fantasy, some of the mob of office workers that pursue Hart through the cubicles with bloodhounds are carrying torches.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Maria is fired for privately discussing wage differences with another co-worker in the bathroom while Frank Hart's assistant is snooping on them. As she is busy packing up her things from her desk, she tells Judy, "I promised myself that I wouldn't cry!"
  • Unfortunate Item Swap: Violet accidentally puts rat poison instead of artificial sweetener in Hart's coffee (they're packaged ridiculously similarly and stored together), and thinks she has poisoned her boss.
  • Unwilling Suspension: When Hart is locked in his room.
  • Watch It Stoned: They have a "good old-fashioned ladies pot party" and watch some movies.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
    • Judy re-marries with the Xerox repairman.
    • Violet goes up the corporate ladder.
    • Doralee becomes a country singer.
    • Mr. Hart is kidnapped by native Amazonians and never heard from again.
  • White Collar Worker: The division our heroines work in is a white-collar place.

The Broadway Musical has examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Violet had four children in the film. In the musical, she has just one.
  • Adaptational Personality Change:
    • Tinsworthy. In the film, he appears to genuinely believe that Hart is responsible for the rise in productivity. In the stage production, he has heard of Violet even before meeting her, believes her Character Filibuster (although he pretends to think her confession is a joke), and makes her CEO.
    • Roz, whose affection for Hart is expanded from the film.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: in the musical, Roz is mentioned in the epilogue to fall in love with Frank’s wife.
  • Canon Foreigner: Joe, a junior accountant who was added in order to give Violet a love interest. His importance to the story is lampshaded after he helps gather evidence of Frank's embezzlement.
    Violet: We couldn't have done it without you, Joe!
    Joe: Yes you could.
  • Character Filibuster: Violet's speech to Tinsworthy, confessing her crimes and explaining how she does all the work and Hart takes all the credit because he's "The Guy".
  • Female Empowerment Song: "Get Out and Stay Out", which is about a woman kicking her abusive partner to the curb and asserting her newfound independence.
  • "I Am" Song: The three leads all sing "Shine Like the Sun", in which they each stand up to Hart and affirm who they are. Doralee also sings "Backwoods Barbie", which, being written by Dolly Parton herself, is clearly autobiographical.
  • "I Want" Song: Hart's "Here for You", singing of his longing for Doralee. Also Violet's "One of the Boys", dreaming of becoming CEO.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Roz. Her feelings for Hart have been upgraded from "loyal, possibly amorous" to full-blown Lust Object status.
  • Intercourse with You: Roz's "Hart to Heart".
  • Jukebox Musical: Averted. The music is composed by Dolly Parton, but with the exception of the Title Track, it is all original and written specifically for the play.
  • The Movie Buff: Judy and Violet appear to be film buffs, referencing films like I Want to Live! and Double Indemnity. Judy admits that she spouts trivia when she gets nervous.
  • Pair the Spares: The epilogue reveals that Roz and Mrs. Hart hooked up.
  • Period Piece: The '70s setting from the film is maintained; this is reinforced throughout the show with references to 1970s pop culture and technology, such as Violet's son wanting "Something called an Atari" for his birthday.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Changed from the film to be the more conventional kind; in the stage production, Tinsworthy realizes that the women are behind all the productive changes, and assigns Hart to Bolivia to get rid of him.
  • Standard Snippet: The standard funeral march is quoted in the underscore at the end of Judy's fantasy about shooting Hart.
  • Take That!: The epilogue reveals that Doralee attempted to run for President, only to discover that bigger boobs than her got in the White House.
  • White Collar Worker: Given the office setting, most of the cast are white-collar workers. The heroines are stuck in "pink-collar" positions because of their obnoxious, sexist boss. Judy is a secretary who is taught the ropes by Violet, an office manager, and Doralee is the boss's secretary. The company their work at is called Consolidated Companies.


Video Example(s):


"9 to 5"

Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" is basically an ode to thankless dead-end jobs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / WorkingClassAnthem

Media sources: