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Bad Job, Worse Uniform

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"Hope you choke-a-doodle-doo."
"I had two people say that to me today, 'I'm going to have you fired.' Go ahead, be my guest. I'm wearing a green velvet costume; it doesn't get any worse than this."
David Sedaris, "SantaLand Diaries"

Sometimes, working as a Burger Fool just isn't embarrassing enough. Sometimes, the humiliation ante must be upped— that's where this trope comes in. Where most part-time jobs are content with just making their employees wear a polo shirt and a nametag, this one adds some sort of embarrassing accessory: A stupid hat, a stupid shirt, or a really bad colour scheme. Some places take it further, making their employees wear a whole Goofy Suit full of embarrassment. But whatever the case, the outfit makes the workers stand out, and makes the character wish they were dead.

Often in the form of embarrassing Signature Headgear at a restaurant, mainly a costume elsewhere. If the job is as a Mascot at an Amusement Park or Suck E. Cheese's, this will be a Goofy Suit. Can overlap with No OSHA Compliance if the job involves cooking and the costume limits visibility, ability to grasp objects or has a tail. If this isn't a dead trope in real life, its certainly dying as the mockery of this trope has led to such establishments not being taken seriously (the polo and khakis look a lot more professional.)

Compare Fan Service With A Smile, where the job demands wearing something revealing for sexual appeal. Compare also Pantomime Animal, which can be comparably tiresome, especially for the actor playing the back legs. And Dreaded Kids' Party Entertainer Job, when performing at kids' parties is portrayed as a humiliating job. Supertrope of Loser Team Mascot.

Interestingly, one way to determine if your work clothes are tax-deductible is "if you'd be embarrassed to go to the bar in them".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ino-Head Gargoyle: Beat cop Okita's philandering and easygoing attitude catches up with him, and he's transferred to the traffic department, where he has to wear a mascot Goofy Suit.
  • One of Ranka's early gigs in Macross Frontier is live advertising for a Zentraedi produce stand where she has to sing a silly jingle while wearing a giant carrot hat.
  • Yakumo from School Rumble worked part time at a cafe where she was said to dress like a bunny. Everyone expected it to be a Playboy bunny style lingerie but it was in fact an oversized rabbit mascot costume.
  • In Skip Beat!, the "Love Me" section of the LME talent agency is designed to let budding talents learn to love, but most of the time, they just end up doing menial tasks like cleaning an assistant work. The most infamous part of the section, however, is that members are forced to wear neon pink jumpsuits. At one point, Kyouko and Kanae even weaponize this by wearing their uniforms to an audition so that they stand out.
  • A variation occurred in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, where in order to set a sting to nab Jeagar, Crow had to dress as "Cup Ramen Man" at a public event. (He and the other protagonists rock-paper-scissored to see who'd have to dress that way and Crow lost.) Fortunately, it was a one-time thing.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics has done it: Jughead once had a job as a flower delivery man and had to dress up in a yellow shirt, cape, and metal helmet with wings (like Hermes in the logo for FTD, a real flower delivery service). His friends were amused; he was not.
  • Henchmen: Each Supervillain that Gary and the other henchmen work for requires them to wear uniforms to match each villain's theme.
    • The Head Pin Of Crime required all his henchmen to dress up as numbered bowling pins. He also asks the uniforms to be made of papier-mache.
    • Santa Claws has all his henchmen dress as Christmas Elves.
    • Microwave has his minions dress in Hazmat Suits. This actually serves a purpose though. It seems that Microwave emits low-level radiation constantly, so all his henchmen are required to wear hazmat suits to keep them from getting radiation poisoning.
  • I Hate Fairyland: Gert's fast food job when we rejoin her in the first issue of the revival requires her to wear a ridiculous dragon-shaped hat bigger than she is.
  • In Prez, Beth starts out in a dead-end fast food job at the House of Corndogs, where everyone is required to wear a hat shaped like a cartoon puppy adorned with notices like "Ask About Today's Specials!". In a subversion, she later admits that the puppy hat was the one thing about the job she actually liked.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter works at a fast-food where he has to wear a frog hat. Bobby (Iceman) later joins him behind the counter when Aunt May forbids them from using their powers in public.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): While Diana herself has no problem with her Taco Wiz outfit she does realize the job is mostly for the desperate who for whatever reason do not have a work history or portfolio that will allow them to get a better one and Etta Candy hates the uniform. Etta's still making jabs about the hat Diana had to wear in Wonder Woman (2006) about a decade after Diana had left.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, there is the expanded Guild of Fools, Clowns, Jesters, Minstrels, Troubadors, Conjurors, Dorises, Circus Performers, Mime Artistes, and People Who Wear Those Silly Mascot Costumes At Theme Parks and Major Sporting Events. The latter class are almost as despised and vilified as mime artistes, and the only people in the Guild who are remotely happy at what they do and who get a costume they really love wearing are the circus performers - who constitute the Guild's reluctantly accepted population of female students, girls attracted by the glamour of public performance who really, really want to be there. Unlike their male peers, they really love the glamour of the clothes they get to wear professionally, and totally fail to look ridiculous, woebegone and miserable in them. note 
  • Ed, Edd, n Eddy: 20 Years Later EP:
    • Averted with Ed. He doesn't seem to mind wearing a hot-dog as a costume.
    • In "Home, Like Plank Did", Eddy's obviously uncomfortable working in his rabbit costume.
  • In Five Nights at Bloaty's, an Invader Zim take on Five Nights at Freddy's, Gaz gets a job as a night guard at a Bloaty's restaurant. The job comes with a uniform composed of a red/white/yellow shirt, a "wannabe trucker's hat", and a skirt — the last one is the part that she really hates, questioning why she has to wear a skirt when she's supposed to be a guard, not a waitress.
  • Heir of the Nightmare: A rare unfunny example. Shining Armor and Princess Cadence are forced into wearing an oversized janitor's uniform and a ragged maid's uniform respectively by the Lunar Pegasi. It's done, like everything else that's been done to them including torture and removing their privileged status, to break their spirits.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Shouto has to wear a pink-and-white apron and a little hat that make him look absolutely ridiculous when combined with his typical stoicism while working at an ice cream parlor. He admits that it's humiliating, but takes comfort in the fact that Ruby and Ren seem to like it and the derision sent Enji's way when they see the son of the #2 Huntsman looking like this.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Better Off Dead, Lane had to wear a uniform that included a chef's hat with pig's ears with a matching nose.
  • In Bill, Shakespeare and Marlowe take a job where they have to dress as a tomato and a cucumber and hand out flyers advertising vegetables.
  • Carmen's Pure Love: Carmen, struggling for work after she's fired from the striptease show, gets a temp job as a mascot for a rat poison called "Drop Dead Rat." She comes home humiliated and tells Akemi how she ran from young children who were mocking her.
  • In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, after getting fired from All-American Burger for swearing at a customer, Brad takes a job down at a "Captain Kidd's Fish and Chips," where he has to wear a full pirate outfit with tricorner hat and even (his boss reminds him as leaves to make a delivery) a plastic sword.
  • In Hot Bot, Huffy and Nard work at a fried fish and doughnut outlet called Batter Up where they are required to wear baseball uniforms.
  • In Max Keeble's Big Move, Max's dad, an advertiser, is forced to wear embarrassing costumes to secure clients. Embarrassing like a giant chicken.
  • Office Space, the ultimate example for the employees of Chotchkies. Not only is the uniform a theme-restaurant-style suspender-and-striped-vest abomination, but you are required to cover it with obnoxious buttons called "flair." There's a minimum amount of flair each employee is required to wear, but the manager tries to browbeat employees to wear more of it.
  • She's All That: The falafel restaurant where Laney works forces her to wear this sad, limp falafel on her head.
  • In Some Guy Who Kills People, Ken's job at the ice cream parlour involves having to dress up in a giant ice cream come costume; both to hand out firers on the street and serve ice cream at parties.
  • In West Bank Story both the employees of Hummus Hut and Kosher King wear hats displaying the food they sell, and well...see for yourself. Also, Kosher King has a mascot, a man dressed as a giant menorah.

  • Molly from And Then I Turned Into a Mermaid works at her family's fish and chips shop, where she's forced to wear a haddock costume that not only looks ridiculous but also is unbearably hot. When she starts uncontrollably transforming into a mermaid, the costume has the advantage of hiding her tail from others, but it also makes it hard to catch herself when she falls.
  • Discworld:
    • As far as Commander Vimes is concerned, being a nobleman is a bad job, made all the worse by having to wear velvet tights, a useless gold breastplate and plumes in his damn helmet. He wears the usual Watch uniform whenever possible.
    • The usual outfit for the castle falconer in the Kingdom of Lancre is just sensible outerwear. However, on special occasions, Hodgesaargh has to wear the ceremonial costume, which was designed by someone with romantic notions and no taste, who had possibly never been outside.
      It had a lot of red and gold in it and would have looked much better on someone two feet taller who had the legs for red stockings. The hat was best not talked about, but if you had to, you'd talk about it in terms of something big, red and floppy. With a feather in it.
  • In the Garrett, P.I. series, private security guards tend to dress in uniforms of clashing and/or unsightly colors, a fact that Garrett is quite happy to draw readers' attention to in his narration.
  • In M.Y.T.H. Inc in Action the army of Possiltum is a madhouse—which isn't so exotic in itself—but it features a big insult added to the injury:
    The captain: Do you men know what an army that's growing as fast as ours needs the most?
    Nunzio: A better tailor.
  • In Pale Grey Dot, renegade spy Jenna hates her uniform so much she reminisces about living in the slums.
    Part of her missed the alleys, Netcafes, VR sims, and wastelands on Earth. There, she didn’t have to rely on anyone but herself, she didn’t have to put up with nagging shrews, and she definitely didn’t have to wear stupid paper hats.
  • The employees at Café Salmonella in A Series of Unfortunate Events have to wear decidedly uncomfortable-looking salmon suits. Unsurprisingly, it's noted that they struggle to actually do their jobs.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, Counts' retainers wear liveries of their house colors. A few humorous remarks are made to the effect that it's just dandy if you come from a District where the first count had the seniority to reserve their colors early and get a plum combo like Black and Silver— but heaven help you if you're from a late-founded District (or your first count just had poor taste) and your colors are something like Chartreuse and Scarlet...note 
    • Miles has some harsh words to say regarding the dress uniform that must be worn for high state occasions, generally known as 'Parade Red-and-Blues': "The collar chokes you, the swords trip you, and the boot tassels catch on things." Emperor Gregor also hates it, and only actually wears his red-and-blues (thus obliging all his Lords and Military officers to do the same) when protocol absolutely demands it. Being the Emperor of three worlds might not sound like the worst job in the universe, but when Gregor ended up having to do a few days menial labor as a slave, his mood noticeably improved...

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory Raj, needing money, has to dress up as Aquaman, complete with seahorse, and wave a sign to advertise the comic-book store.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy's uniform at Doublemeat Palace is garishly red-and-white-striped and includes a hat with a half cow, half chicken thing. The smell of meat clings to her and it offends even vampires.
    • Xander's uniforms of all the jobs he worked after High School.
  • Cheers: When the bar is purchased by the Lilian Corporation in season 6, it comes with the employees having to wear uniforms, of an unpleasant green colour. The only one who likes them is Woody (and only because it saves him hours of picking out a shirt in the morning), and Sam and Carla spend a lot of time trying to get out of them or just destroy them, eventually succeeding halfway through the season. Unsurprisingly, they turn out to be one of Rebecca's harebrained ideas, which is why she's so adamant on keeping them.
  • Chuck
    • Morgan is promoted at the Buy More against his will. He has to wear a suit and be referred to by his new boss Emmett as "Ass Man'' (assistant manager).
    • Super spy Roan Montgomery is forced to hide as Buy More employee. He hates their uniforms, in particular their polyester shirts.
  • In the Cold Case episode "A Dollar, A Dream", the team interrogates Anil (the former boss of the victim Marlene Bradford). He works in a restaurant where he has to wear a short sleeved shirt and a bowtie. It is described by Vera as a clown suit.
  • Family Matters: The Mighty Weenie has its workers don hats with hot dogs on them. When Eddie is promoted, it's explicitly said that now he gets to "take off that stupid hat".
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • In Season 2, when Will decides to get a job to pay for homecoming himself rather than have Uncle Phil pay for him, he ends up at the pirate-themed seafood restaurant Treasure Island, where he has to wear a stereotypical pirate costume, complete with eyepatch, fake beard and a stuffed parrot on his shoulder.
    • In Season 6, Ashley gets a part-time job at a hot dog joint and laments having to wear the "same stupid uniform day after day."
  • Friends:
    • Monica loses her job and has to work at a '50s-themed diner, where she has to wear a wig and fake boobs.
    • Joey gets stuck in Las Vegas so he gets a job as a greeter dressed as a gladiator at Caesar's Palace.
  • Microsoap has Roger's eldest son David take a job at a fried chicken place, with his uniform including a rubber chicken attached to his hat. Emily's friend Lisa comes in and bursts into laughter when she sees it.
  • Sue and (even more so) Brad's jobs at the mall food court in The Middle, as seen in "Vacation Days".
  • The fried chicken place that Kevin worked at in Mr. Belvedere had a headgear like this. However, they stopped having employees wear it when they made deliveries; it scared people.
  • Lister had actually designed the uniform for his dream business on Fiji in Red Dwarf. It became the vestments of the Cat religion, and a holy war was fought over what color the hats were supposed to be. Both sides got it wrong.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The episode "Sandman" features a brief appearance by the truly hideous uniform worn by employees of "Pork on a Pole" (an orange, black and yellow uniform, including a three-quarter length smock and a large peaked hat that she's expected to keep her hair stuffed up under). And they make the wearers buy the outfit. The same episode features the Warning Man and his uniform, a large fluorescent cone over most of him and an orange flashing light on his head. As he admits near the end of the episode, "I had to pay for that uniform".
  • Saturday Night Live Justin Timberlake as a rapping coffee cup competing for attention with a sidewalk Santa.
  • In the fourth season of Shameless (US), Mandy works at a tacky place called Waffle Cottage, complete with hideous uniform. The dark orange/beige dress and bright orange tights combo is bad enough, but what really seals it is the green baseball cap upon which perches a large, stuffed squirrel. To quote her brother:
    Mickey: What the fuck does a squirrel have to do with waffles, anyway?!
  • Stranger Things: The sailor uniforms Robin and Steve had to wear while working at Scoops Ahoy during Season 3, complete with a hat.
  • The Sweet Valley High TV series featured an episode where Lila and Jessica were forced to work at a pork restaurant to pay for a gown they damaged in a store. Not only do they have to dress as pigs as part of their uniform, if they don't squeal, the customer gets a free meal.
  • The German soap opera Verbotene Liebe once had Christian hand out pamphlets dressed as a tree and saying, "Ho ho ho!" which is apparently some kind of onomatopoeic German tree noise...
  • Victorious: In one episode, Tori got a job at a frozen yogurt stand to make extra money. As part of the job, she had to wear a witch costume, which she found hideous. However, since the owner's wife designed it, she had to pretend to like it.
  • One episode of Brit Com The Worker starring Charlie Drake saw him forced to dress up as Daffodil Man in order to sell some product or other door-to-door.

  • The narrator of "Soul Suckin' Jerk" by Beck mentions wearing a "puke green uniform" for his job at a fried chicken restaurant. He hates it so much he sets it on fire.


    Video Games 
  • You can get one of these for a Side Quest in Bully; Jimmy gets a job at a Burger Fool where he has to dress up in an awful yellow and red uniform with a hat shaped like a box of fries and deliver burgers. While many will mock you for the outfit, it's hard to tell from the general derision that's put on Jimmy.
  • In The Gambler, Taylor, Blaine, and Gale work at the Weiner House, a job that barely pays the bills, and they have to wear a hat shaped like a goofy weiner mascot.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has the Burger Shot uniform, which includes a gigantic hamburger hat, and the Clucking Bell, a full-body chicken suit (the latter employee coming off as more disgruntled.)
  • Goth Boy suffers this in MySims Agents, manning the Turkey on a Fork kiosk at the beach.
  • The Outer Worlds combines this with Soul Crushing Retail Job in Martin Callahan, a vendor for Spacer's Choice who is forced to wear a goofy headwear of the Moon Man company mascot.
  • Considering how absolutely mad about fashion the world of Splatoon is, it wouldn't be right to not have examples of this across the franchise;
    • In the original Splatoon, it's mentioned that the uniform at Walleye Warehouse is rather drab; so much so, in fact, that Marie of the Squid Sisters actually burned her uniform after finishing their part-time job there. This is probably a subversion considering the uniform would be standard warehouse attire, but to Inklings, all uniforms are drab and awful.
    • Integrated into gameplay with the "Salmon Run" gamemode in Splatoon 2 and 3; not only is Mr Grizz one heck of a Bad Boss, but he stuffs you into uniforms the game outright calls "Slopsuits". They not only look dire, but they also lack Ability Slots and offer almost no protection against Salmonid attacks. The only boons they have are an infinite revival system in the back-mounted lifebuoy and two non-rechargable Specials to use (tied to the hat, no less).
      • Subverted with Splatoon 3's Slopsuits, however; not only do they look much more professional this time around, but the company also offers multiple colours of Slopsuits for those on commission to purchase so they can stand out in a shift-team a bit more. Actually getting those alternate colours, however, leans into the "bad job" part of the trope; they must be purchased with Scales, obtained from beating the King Salmonid bosses. Which, needless to say, is not an easy feat.
  • An NPC in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue walks around in a dinosaur suit, which according to him might have fleas.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Strong Bad Email "part-time job", Strong Bad is forced to wear (not to mention pay for) a Tragic Clown-Dog outfit as part of his "very part-time" job at Bubs' Concession Stand.

  • In this strip of Girls with Slingshots, Thea gets a job as an arena hot dog vendor and has to wear a hot dog-shaped hat. No wonder she doesn't want to tell her roommate Hazel what she now does for a living.
  • An important plot point in Homestuck, where agent Jack Noir is not only stuck doing paperwork he hates but is also continually forced to wear ludicrous costumes in accordance with the Black Queen's royal garb. Eventually, after the costumes became even more ridiculous, he snaps and then proceeds to kill his boss, steal her power source and eventually become a god-like Omnicidal Maniac Hero Killer.
  • Played for Drama in Joe vs. Elan School. Escapees and new (male) students at the titular school are forced to wear yellow T-shirts and pink shorts. The shirts are to keep them visible if they attempt to escape, and the pink shorts are for humiliation.
  • Subverted in Paul Southworth's Krazy Larry: One of the main characters who worked at a retail store called "Everything But Walnuts" (which, like the name indicated, carried everything but walnuts), was chosen for the role of the store's mascot Nonuts The Ferret, due to incidentally looking like him. The "costume" in question consisted of nothing but a censor bar over his crotch, and the job mostly involved standing outside and being pelted with rocks by passing motorists, but he still considered it to be a massive improvement over his old Soul-Sucking Retail Job inside the store.
  • In this strip of Loserz, Jodie has to wear a chicken costume.
  • When working at Megagamers, Piro from MegaTokyo has to wear the most ridiculous cosplay outfits, depending on Erika's mood.
  • Puck briefly works as a mascot at Howlers, because she can’t face wearing the Hooters-style waitress uniforms... and regrets it immediately.
  • Schlock Mercenary: you don't know the meaning of bad uniform until you're forced to wear a wig, a mustache, and buck teeth while serving authentic Hong-Kong-Tex-Mex.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: Caitlin gets this worst; the Big Squeeze requires employees to wear half a lemon on their head.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius:
    • Jimmy dressed up as a literal Burger Fool in "Men at Work".
    • The episode "Trading Faces" has a one-liner about this. Even though we never see the characters actually wear the outfit, we do see the hat. It has a hot dog sticking out of each side like a pair of antlers:
      Jimmy: [in Cindy's body] And uh, by the way, you start tomorrow at "Hank's Weenie Barn". Here's your weenie.
  • On American Dad!, Roger gets a job handing out coupons dressed a cup of juice. When he is assaulted by a competitor, he moans "Why does everyone hate the juice?"
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force, "Robositter": The pink-colored uniforms Shake and Frylock have to wear at Slurp-a-Lunch.
  • Bob's Burgers: Subverted: The closest thing Bob has to an advertising gimmick apart from his burger-of-the-day puns is the burger suit he has Gene wear in front of the store to promote the restaurant. The costume does look ridiculous, but Gene is a quirky middle child who revels in being the center of attention and fully embraces the burger suit. He even uses his keyboard or novelty bullhorn to draw even more attention to himself during his burger suit shifts.
  • Bojack Horseman: Parodied with the man seen standing on the street corner handing out era-appropriate flyers from the Generic Decade Pop Songs scenes. He's absent in the 90's scene, but in the 80's, he's wearing a giant Rubix cube advertising for a rubix cube outlet store, and in 2007, an older version of the same man is wearing a costume shaped like a suburban house, and gives out flyers about mortgage deals.
  • Carl² had the pirate-themed Buccaneer Burger, where the employees had to dress in pirate outfits.
  • In Danny Phantom, the job uniform at Nasty Burger is pretty low key, but the bug mascot is a humiliating outfit for the person who wears it.
  • Given an interesting twist in one episode of Doug. Making fun of the guy in the burger suit outside Honker Burger is pretty much a Bluffington tradition, but eventually, Doug learns that it's his next-door neighbor Mr. Dink. In order to help out, Doug fills in for him and gains a new respect for Dink after witnessing the "playful" teasing from the other end. He also gets people to respect the "burger man" by saving some drowning kids thanks in part to the costume's buoyancy.
  • Familia Tipo: Hector has an Imagine Spot about wearing an embarrassing clown costume at Wac Food.
  • Lenny and Boog, the two guys who work at the Frosty Mart on Fanboy and Chum Chum have lowkey outfits, but their hats have big Frosty Freezy Freezes on them.
  • An episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends had Bloo bring in what he thought was a lost imaginary friend. As it turned out, he was actually a guy in a cellphone costume promoting a nearby phone store.
  • On Gravity Falls, Dipper Pines takes this trope to the Logical Extreme in the episode "Boss Mabel", where he has to dress like a wolf-man and is forced to dance for tourists so his Gruncle Stan can make money.
  • In the Disney series Hercules: The Animated Series, Hercules' sheep uniform when he works in a restaurant.
  • Invader Zim: When Zim is recaptured by Sizz-Lor in "The Fry Cook What Came From All That Space" and taken back to Foodcourtia to resume his exile, he's forced to work at the fast food restaurant Schluugor's. The regular uniforms are bad enough, and include a giant, ridiculous hat, but at one point, Sizz-Lor makes him wear a Schluugor mascot costume filled with piping hot grease because "it makes him dance better". Somewhat justified since Sizz-Lor hates Zim and the job is supposed to be a punishment for Zim ruining the original Operation Impending Doom, but still.
  • In King of the Hill episode "Life in the Fast Lane", Bobby gets a food vendor job at the race track employed by jerkass idiot boss, Jimmy Wichard. While one kid refuses to wear a hot dog costume, Bobby is willing to wear it when working to be the efficient "go-to guy". He gets pelted by spectators with food and drink cups.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In "Peel of Fortune", Bugs has to take a job at an ice cream parlor where the uniform includes an ice cream cone hat.
  • In Mission Hill, after losing his job, Andy briefly has a job as a mascot for an ice cream shop, standing on a median on a busy street.
  • In "Girl of Steal" on My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny puts on a stupid hat for each job she has: fast food girl, toy shelf stocker and shoe salesbot. There's another cartoon where she wears a messenger outfit.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Jeremy works at Mr. Slushy Burger, which requires him to wear a goofy little pink hat with a hot dog on it. Candace has gone through more than one mall job requiring a dopey outfit and/or hat. A particularly memorable one being a Perry outfit in "Toy to the World".
      Jeremy: The things they make us wear. At least you don't have a wiener on your head.
    • In the episode "Boyfriend from 27,000 B.C.", Doofenshmirtz's hatred of guys wearing sandwich costumes causes him to build the Sandwich Suit Removeinator. (Though he doesn't mind the taco guy so much.)
  • In Pinky and the Brain, they work at "Hotdog on a Hotdog" for a whole 2 minutes while wearing red, blue and yellow vertically striped shirts and hats. Kind of surprising that they had uniforms in their size.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): "Keen On Keane" has the Professor and Ms. Keane on a date arranged secretly by the girls at a kids' pizza restaurant. The waiter, dressed in a dog costume, looks like he'd rather be dead.
    Waiter: [disinterestedly] Bowwa wowwa wowwa. Can I take your order nowwa?
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Ed Good, Rocko Bad", Ed becomes the new dog catcher, but the job becomes that of a pooper-scooper. He also has to dress in a dog costume.
  • The Simpsons:
    Barney: Come back, diaper! Come back! (turns to face his mother) Hi, Ma.
    • In "Bart the Fink" Bart and Lisa open accounts at a bank where the tellers are dressed in gorilla costumes as part of a "going ape" promotion. Later in the same episode, they announce that their deals are "through the roof" and dress the tellers in house costumes with their heads sticking out of the roof.
    • In "Mypods and Broomsticks" Lisa gets a bill from electronics company Mapple charging her $1200 for downloading 1,212 songs to her Mypod. To pay back Mapple, she is forced to wear a Mypod costume and hand out pamphlets on the street corner saying "think differently" over and over.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Employees of the Krusty Krab normally just have a little sailor hat for a uniform, but the time Pearl took over and turned it into a hip teenage hangout, the Kuddly Krab, she had everyone wear pink leotards with K-shaped deely-bobbers. Squidward found them thoroughly humiliating; SpongeBob, of course, loved them. SpongeBob was, however, humiliated when Pearl forced him to stand outside in a Krab mascot costume.
    • In one episode, Mr. Krabs starts selling hot dogs instead of Krabby Patties and forces Squidward to stand outside in a hot dog suit, so he decides to team up with SpongeBob to get Krabby Patties back on the menu. In the end, they succeed, only Squidward now has to wear a Krabby Patty suit to advertise the patties' return.
  • Virgil had a literal Burger Fool outfit too on Static Shock.
  • Peedee Fryman and the Frybo costume in Steven Universe. And if you thought Frybo was bad at first, wait until he turns evil.
    • A later episode has Fryman getting in a restaurant war with Koffi Pizza as they try to outsell each others' original products. Peedee is once again forced into a mascot suit, this time of a pizza slice.
  • In Stōked, the waitresses in the resort dining room have to wear pirate wench outfits.
  • Subverted in an episode of TaleSpin where Baloo and Kit voluntarily decided to dress in hot dog and pickle costumes to make money selling hot dogs at a parade. (Apparently, they didn't mind that at all; unfortunately, due to the villains' plan, they didn't manage to sell any.)

    Real Life 
  • Do you have those 1-800-GOT-JUNK? people in your city? Chances are, you've seen them advertise by having employees dress up in blue jumpsuits and clown wigs and dance around busy intersections.
  • At tax time, you often see people standing out on street corners, waving to cars, dressed as Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam. A Maple Leaf, if you're in Canada.
  • Guys dressed in a roach costume, extra arms and all, advertising a pest control service.
  • Southwestern U.S. has a chain called El Pollo Loco, a chicken joint whose advertisements are distributed by grown men in full-body yellow-feathered chicken costumes. Fun trivia: El Pollo Loco was Brad Pitt's first "acting" gig.
  • At least one pizza restaurant here in the Twin Cities had one employee dress up as Luigi and hold a sign for the restaurant. However, since the girl doing it is a cosplayer she absolutely loved the job. The rest of her co-workers thought that doing it was this trope.
  • Any time a Halloween costume store opens up, chances are there'll be someone in one kind of costume or another dancing around with a sign out front.
  • Many "WE BUY GOLD!" places do this. One local place has someone waving a sign on a street corner wearing a gold leaf top hat, face paint, and suit.
  • Some Subway branches make employees stand on the street, dressed as sandwiches, holding a sign that points out the direction of the nearest shop. Even if there are three within a square mile.
  • Hot Dog On A Stick may have the worst genuine uniform, as opposed to publicity costume, ever. Better (or worse) yet, since HDoaS is an employee-owned company, it was voted in by the very people stuck wearing it! Just how terrible were the OTHER options?!
  • In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the "how tf am i an essential worker" meme went viral. The original iteration of this meme featured an employee who took a selfie in a ridiculous Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone costume.
  • McDonalds is actually making strides to avert this, as detailed in this article, doing in brightly coloured theme clothing for more professional looks such as black and grey. The only notable McDonalds artwork they retain is a simple yellow M.


Video Example(s):


Lisa Works for Mapple

To pay off her debt for downloading too many songs, Lisa gets hired to stand on a street corner and hand out pamphlets, while wearing a MyPod costume.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadJobWorseUniform

Media sources: