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New Job as the Plot Demands
aka: Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs

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Marge Simpson: We've met you many times, Miss Naegle. Why do you keep changing jobs?
Lindsey Naegle: I'm a sexual predator.

This is when a character frequently changes their job to serve the plot's purpose. Imagine their resumes...

May overlap with Honest John's Dealership. Compare Inexplicably Identical Individuals and Recurring Extra, which is a less specific and less likely to be plot relevant version, and The Generic Guy where the character and his job have little relevance to the plot at all. Compare New Job Episode, where the job is actually the focus of the plot.

Not to be confused with:


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  • In the CN City bumpers, characters are typically seen working whatever job is needed for the bumper to work. Sometimes this can get weird when the characters are children, as seen in one bumper where Chip and Edward (who have no given ages in canon, but all of the Bean Scouts are generally implied to be under the age of 13 given the way they act) are working as ushers in a movie theater.
  • The eponymous Long Long Man is first seen working as a deliveryman, and then later, as a mascot selling balloons.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayane's Stealth Mentor in Ayane's High Kick is working a different job every time he's seen, because he's honestly kind of a loser.
  • Tojo from Beelzebub. One possible explanation for his constant shuffling of part-time jobs is because he keeps getting into trouble when rival gang members show up to fight him.
  • She never actually changes job titles, but the waitress from Black Cat works at four or five different restaurants over the course of the series.
  • One of the running jokes in The Brave Express Might Gaine is that Sally, the Love Interest, has a different job every single episode.
  • Yunyun from Canaan always seems to have exactly the job that will allow her to run into the main cast, which eventually allows her to join the cast in their antics. Subverted, though: she's not doing it just for the money or the thrill, but as The Mole for their enemies.
    • Could also be a reference to the potential after effects of China's economic growth spurt, as Yunyun mentions that many in the slums take up several part-time jobs to make ends meet.
  • Touya in Cardcaptor Sakura, since in Japan, "Part-Time Job" (arubaito) is often more accurately described as "temp work" as opposed to a job where one works part time hours. The reason he has so many jobs is because he was only hired to work a particular one for a limited time. In a variation, though, he's the main character's brother and unknown Secret-Keeper, as opposed to just being a background joke character with no importance to the plot. Sakura herself comments that her brother holds a LOT of part time jobs, because Touya wants to make and save as much money possible, so he could go to college without being a burden for his father. He also is implied to take them so he can look after Sakura.
    • He even works in jobs across series — showing up in cameo jobs in Kobato. as well as across universes, showing up several times in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- at various jobs.
    • Speaking of Kobato., Fujimoto is another main character who keeps changing jobs — however, he does this to earn as much money as he can to support Sayaka.
  • Tamami from Chocotto Sister takes on more jobs than she can handle and then tries to let Haruma take the less attractive ones.
  • Li Shenshun from Darker than Black always happens to be working at whatever place is most plot-relevant at the moment — of course, Li is the civilian alias of the "Black Shinigami" Hei…
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Psiren, the local Phantom Thief, keeps changing jobs to avoid being caught by the police. The brothers Elric first meet her when she's working in a hospital, then changes to school nurse, nun, etc. This trope is lampshaded by Edward when they meet her in her nun get-up: "Why the hell do you keep changing jobs?!"
  • Galaxy Angel featured Patrick, Jonathan, and Gasteau, who had a different job each time they appeared in an episode, from imperial officers to doctors (though they were more often than not villains). They tended to be Faceless Goons in later seasons.
  • Hasegawa in Gintama is either in a brand new job or without one. The explanation is because he is a MADAO. Also because he keeps asking Gintoki and Co. to help him with his jobs.
  • One of the many reasons Hayate the Combat Butler is skilled and knowledgeable in everything before his current employment, he had to work as a child for his dead-beat parents with a lot of different jobs. He's just got one now, but we hear about his past now and then.
    • Also, Santa Claus (or someone that resembles him) has been shown to work at various jobs.
  • From Hell Girl, Ai Enma's minions are often shown with different jobs as they observe a prospective client before the string is pulled, except in season three where they all keep the same jobs in a school since they're hanging out with the girl who's supposed to be replacing their current boss.
  • Throughout the series, the Landlady of Hidamari Sketch has been shown having a variety of jobs: delivering pizza coupon fliers and temping at the Berry-Mart, along with other, unspecified part-time jobs. She does this so she can keep tenants' rents lower, which is definitely a help to students like Miyako (who has lower rent than the others for other reasons, in addition).
  • While Miki from I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying is most consistently seen as a detective, he has shown up in other Cool-Kyou Shinsha works as the owner of a Maid Cafe (in Metsuko ni Yoroshiku) and crepe stand (in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid).
  • The cast of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service falls into this trope fairly often. Since the filling-the-last-wishes-of-the-dead business tends to be sporadic, they often fill it in with an astonishing array of contract or part-time jobs — from moving tombstones to faking alien Crop Circles. It's usually the perpetually underemployed trio of Yata, Numata and Karatsu who are seen doing the heavy lifting, but Keiko often turns up in a number of unlikely consulting jobs due to her extremely-rare-in-Japan expertise in embalming. Sasaki seems to be the only one who holds a steady job. Of course, that steady job is selling celebrity gore photographs to fetishists, but hey, it's a living.
  • One middle-aged woman can be found in almost every episode of Lucky Star's anime adaptation, working in a different field every time. Whether it's actually meant to be the same woman isn't exactly clear, though... Especially since one of the later episodes has six or seven of them on screen at the same time.
  • Mahoraba has an Anime Chinese Girl that ends all of her sentences with ~yo who's just not competent enough to keep a job for long.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Hilde Schbeiker becomes a MS pilot for OZ, a junk dealer with Duo, a spy and a hacker. In the Frozen Teardrop novel, she becomes a nurse, a librarian, an expert in nano technology and a nun.
  • Narugami (aka Thor) from Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok... yes, the god Thor. He's really not good at keeping money.
  • The main character in Nuko Duke is always changing jobs, which often comes with various issues that drives the chapter.
  • Ojarumaru: Ken works a different part-time job in every new episode he's seen. The in-universe explanation is that his clumsy nature constantly gets him fired.
  • In Outlaw Star, Aisha Clan-Clan (after being fired from her diplomatic/military position) takes up a rather large number of waitressing positions. Given her tendency to attack people she should be serving, which often results in the whole restaurant being destroyed, it's amazing she can still find work.
  • Nanami of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is seen working at several places. However, she states that she's earning the money enter voice acting training.
  • Team Rocket from Pokémon: The Series often find some random job near Ash and co. when they're not failing to steal Pokémon. They're actually quite skilled at these jobs, but they only use the money earned to finance their mechas and future schemes since their criminal boss, Giovanni, is refusing to pay their bills after repeated failures to steal a single Pokémon for him.
  • Ramen Fighter Miki: Justified with Kankuro, who has come back to Hanami only to beat Miki, (a task he sincerely believes would not take much time) so he is doing part time jobs to support himself while he beats her: he has been seen working painting fences, cooking food at a festival, and working in some place with a skirt. Lampshaded and Hand Waved in the Episode 2's "On the Next" dialogue:
    Miki: What do you do for a living?
    Kankuro: I do a lot of different jobs, Nya. Road construction, farming...
    Miki: I've got to make the deliveries!
    Kankuro: Listen when I talking! Nya
    Miki: Who are you
  • In Rosario + Vampire Capu2, Ruby continues to change what job she's working at the school frequently. One time she's working as a waitress, the next she's helping out the nurse on Measuring Day. She needed something to do ever since her transition from Dark Magical Girl.
  • Sister Princess: Jeeves mysteriously appears wherever Wataru is, and his job title changes based on where Wataru is and what he needs at the moment.
  • A minor character in Suzuka has as many different jobs as she has appearances.
  • Minori Kushieda from Toradora! holds many jobs. She's captain of the softball club, a waitress at a restaurant, a part-time helper at a convenience store... Seems like she is following the advice of someone from a manga...
  • Kidd, a minor character in Yakitate!! Japan as Kuroyanagi's former classmate, frequently pop-up throughout the Monaco Cup as a Cameo in various flashbacks, having different careers in each appearance, depending on the plot requirement: he pops up as a prosecuting attorney in Pierrot's flashback when his ringmaster was telling him a story about the lawsuit practices in America; then in another flashback, he appears as a Thai massage practitioner who helped Pierrot recover from an injury, then finally appears in-story as an informant to give Kuroyanagi exposition about Monica and Shadow's background during the arc's final round.
  • Gamao from Yes! Pretty Cure 5. After failing his first mission, he never reported back to Nightmare and basically went AWOL. Since he still needs money, Gamao could be found doing a bunch of odd jobs (store clerk, street sweeper, stage hand, etc.) while running into the eponymous magical girls purely by accident.
  • The characters of Zombie Loan continuously run into a young-looking girl who has a different supernatural-related job every time, with the explanation that the main characters' antics keep getting her fired.

    Comic Books 
  • Condorito constantly changes jobs in most of his appearances. In his 70's apparitions he had a stable job in a garage/car wash unless it was needed to be otherwise for the sake of a joke, but this started to quickly fade out of use when the comic started to rely more and more in the creation of different worlds to make the jokes work. Sometimes Condorito is the major of a rural colonial Pelotillehue, and others a hobo in a huge Pelotillehue metropolis.
  • Nightwing has been a bartender, policeman, gymnastics teacher, museum curator, social worker, and owner-operator of a small gym. And a super-spy.
  • In US-1 by Marvel Comics, supporting character Retread was established as having worked practically every job imaginable at one point or another, but he was terrible at all of them. This was done to justify why he had such a diverse skill set.
  • In one Wallace & Gromit comic, they visit a hotel where there's only one employee, who's constantly changing his uniform based on whether he's needed as a doorman, concierge, bellhop, cook, waiter, gardener, or janitor.

    Comic Strips 
  • Big Nate has "School Picture Guy", who when not the photographer has shown up as a clown, a reporter, etc…
  • The character of Mabel in Cathy shows up as a clothing store clerk, travel agent, bank teller, etc.
  • Dogbert from Dilbert is definitely this. In a single anthology that ranged from the 5/19/91 strip to the 12/13/92 strip, Dogbert had no fewer than forty jobs. note 
  • Donald Duck has done many different jobs. Many of them while forced by Uncle Scrooge to do so. His uncle Scrooge is no slouch either: before becoming rich he was a shoe shiner, firewood (later peat) seller, cared for cows on the boat that brought him to America, a sailor on his uncle's river boat, river captain, sailor again, cowboy, a brief stint as a sailor on the Cutty Sark, an actor for the Wild West Show (according to Buffalo Bill, Scrooge actually came up with the idea!), a prospector, another stint as a sailor to pay the travel for Klondike, and a prospector again. After becoming rich he was a banker, directed a sawmill, armed ships, SOLD LEMONADE, and traveled the world to create and buy companies, mines and other things that would make him richer (including the ENTIRE STOCK MARKET in 1929), before settling in Duckburg. That's probably not even a complete list...
  • Elvie: Elvie has worked in an office, hosted seminars, managed a school's database, sold merchandise, sold electronics, worked at a camp, been a photographer, and applied for a tech support job.
  • Pearls Before Swine: Rat has been everything from a stockbroker to an oil executive.
  • Madame Red from Out of the Gene Pool has appeared with different jobs, usually at a fast food restaurant and as a newspaper columnist. It was implied, although never explicitly stated, that she held multiple jobs at the same time.
  • Hieronymus Jobs in one story by Wilhelm Busch. (He's just the 18th century equivalent of a spoilt upper class son.)

    Fan Works 
  • Mewtwo takes on this role in Ashes of the Past, due to his ability to master just about anything in a short period of time. He's now officially running a corporation in addition to being a published author and television personality.
  • In Back At Ya Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy are forced to take low-paying Ministry jobs and Lucius' personality and work ethic mean that he spends about six months in any position before being passed on to a different department.
  • The Halloween Unspectacular series has the unfortunate bastard who shows up repeatedly throughout the first Myth Arc only to get caught up by all the insanity following the main characters around — In HU1, he's a bus driver in the Outback whose bus gets used as a testing ground for the Fiddley Thing; in HU2, he's now a conductor on the Ghan, which Insano decides to use to test the upgraded Fiddley Thing; in HU3, he's now a security guard at JFK International, and gets mind-wiped after seeing some of Madame Athena's actual magic; in HU4, he's renting river boats on the Orinoco, which the heroes need to chase the villains to El Dorado; and in HU5, he shows up at the Fiddley Thing's funeral, where he reveals that he's now unemployed and in therapy. He reappears in HU9 as the new Big Bad, blaming E350 for his life being ruined by all these events and wanting revenge.
  • Harry Potter and the Four Heirs:
    The discussion and long needed catch up between Harry, Sirius and Remus went into the night. They skipped a proper dinner and just ate sandwiches as they talked. Remus described some of the jobs he had taken up in order to raise funds. He'd helped lay mundane roads, dug ditches, learned how to plaster a wall. He'd washed cars in France, car windscreens in Germany, and worked for a commercial herbologist in Spain. Whatever he could find to do, he did.

    So long as it helped him raise money.
  • A humorous Inuyasha fanfiction has Sesshomaru. Kagome and crew travel to all fifty of the United States, and any time they stay in a state for any length of time, they will find Sesshomaru has a job there relevant to what they are currently doing. The author even encourages people to spot how many times he pops up. The only time the group ever arrive anywhere before Sesshomaru, it was because they ran him over on his way to work. The story, called Roadtrip Around the USA, can be found here.
  • Gray Ghost in Manehattan's Lone Guardian helps support her family by doing odd jobs, according to her profile. One chapter briefly has her working as a server at a bowling alley. Later, she's roped into working at the Pyre of Fears in order to pay for damages to the building.
  • In No Sign of Love Harry had to keep changing jobs because of his status as the Boy-Who-Lived.
    Draco: Anyway, he bounced around Diagon Alley for awhile, working at Honeydukes, Flourish and Blotts, Eeylops, Quality Quidditch Supplies, and he even managed to last half a day at Fortescue's. Every single time his adoring public managed to drive him off or have him sacked for creating a nuisance. He tried, Severus. He really tried.
  • In Matt Wilson's Homestar Runner fan animation "Not Without My Application (Or, Jorbs-A-Plenti)", Homestar takes a long string of new jobs to buy Marzipan a present, all of which seem to involve knocking on Strong Bad's front door (such as gas meter checker, pizza delivery, collecting late fees for the video store, and door-to-door salesman), slowly driving Strong Bad up the wall in the process.
  • In the Undertale fanfic The Party Incident and Other Embarrassing Anecdotes, Reader keeps running into her fake boyfriend, Sans, while he's at his job. So far, he's been an art model, a nice cream vendor, a clerk at a grocery store, a bouncer at a strip club, and a mall Santa.
  • Saiko Rocks lampshades the tendency of Kermit and Jeeves to do this in SMG4 canon. They both show up doing new jobs they haven't done in the bloopers and both times, the narration goes on to list the number of jobs they'd already done before saying that one more couldn't hurt.
  • In The Secret Life of Draco Malfoy Draco's short attention span means that he's done a stint as a librarian, office assistant, baker, bartender, shopkeeper and personal shopper.
  • Since the Straw Hat Pirates are a relatively small pirate crew, its members often have to take on multiple jobs in This Bites!. The best example is Jeremiah Cross, thanks to his partnership with Soundbite, his knowledge of the One Piece story and its future, his overall intelligence, and later a literal divine gift in the form of a transceiver that lets him contact every transponder snail in the world. He is the Straw Hat's third mate, strategist, communications officer (shared with Soundbite), and public relations officer.

    Films — Animation 
  • In A Goofy Movie, Goofy is a child photographer, a high-paying and decent job that he enjoys. By the start of An Extremely Goofy Movie, he's instead a factory line worker in a run-down toy factory with no explanation towards how or why he started working there. Of course, knowing Goofy, he probably lost his old job in a Noodle Incident.
  • Wallace & Gromit seem to change careers during their last three features; in A Close Shave, they had a window-cleaning operation; in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit they ran a humane pest-control service, and in A Matter of Loaf and Death, they converted their home into a bakery.
    • It looks like the Fatal Flaw in their plan is usually the attempt to integrate Wallace's fundamental inventorship into the new job; it seems like everything Wallace invents is useful for the plot of the feature, but once they've saved the day, the market dries up. If they wanted a stable job, they should look at what the neighborhood is in constant need of, and then invent something to deal with that. But then there wouldn't be any more plots.
    • This is continued in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, where Wallace starts up an ice cream business, a detective agency, a beekeeping business and a seaside resort — the latter two operating out of his cellar.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Stan Lee is seen in multiple jobs throughout the MCU, rarely the same one twice. This is likely because he works for the Watchers and his various jobs are covers to let him get close to the action.
  • Chico's character in A Night at the Opera. "[You thought I worked at] The circus? That was ages ago. Last week. I have lotsa jobs since then."
  • In Brain Donors, the character played by Mel Smith is not only a cab driver, but also cleans swimming pools and runs his own toupee business. In fact, he's only driving the cab as a sideline. As soon as he gets his drivers license, he's out of there.
  • Tim in the Confessions of a... series always had a different job in each movie. This was mostly an excuse for him to one-night stands with women in different locations.
  • Che, in the film adaptation of the Webber/Rice musical Evita, appears as a waiter, valet, projectionist, student protester... indeed in just about any capacity other than Marxist icon Che Guevara, who was the narrator and Deadpan Snarker in the original stage version. In contrast, the film's Che (no last name) is not only a Lemony Narrator but also The Everyman.
  • Gordon Urquhart in Local Hero is an innkeeper, lawyer, town mayor, and drives a cab during the busy season due to living in a small town.
  • Bert in Mary Poppins goes through several jobs and street performances in the course of the film: one-man-band, pavement chalk artist, chimney sweep, kite seller. He also mentions selling hot chestnuts, though we don't see him doing it. This follows the books, in which he is a jack-of-all-trades. The chimney sweep is a separate character, but they just added it to Bert's repertoire for the movie.
  • A bunch of activists in PCU keep changing causes.
  • Ramone in The Proposal is seen as a waiter, a stripper, a store employee, and a priest at a wedding. Possibly justified in that it's a small town....
  • From Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
  • Bruce Campbell's unnamed character moves upwards in society through the Spider-Man Trilogy. In the first movie he's a wrestling announcer, in the second he's an usher at a posh theater, and in the third he's working at a fancy French restaurant (speaking with an awful fake accent).
  • Name all the jobs The Three Stooges have had. It may take a while. Granted, during the Great Depression, quite a few of the occupations were "vagrant", "drifter", "bum", and "none".
  • Seymour Simmons moves through a variety of jobs over the course of the Transformers Film Series. He starts the films as head of government agency Sector Seven, he's fired and forced to work in his mother's deli in the second film, in the third film he acheives fame and fortune as an author, and in the fifth film he flees to exile in Cuba.

  • In The Count of Monte Cristo, there is a tertiary character called Monsieur De Boville, who over the course of the novel goes from being the inspector of prisons for the south of France, to a high office in the police in Paris and finally to receiver-general of the charities. And he keeps crossing paths with Edmond Dantes or one of his aliases in every single one of those jobs.
  • Dead End Job Mysteries: Helen Hawthorne has a different job in each book of the series. In books 1-3, she has to find new work in the end because the place she'd been at closed down. In books 4-8, a variety of reasons lead to her choosing to go (including bad events at the ends of books 5 and 8; she was unwilling to return to those jobs, since she'd been so happy there before and now they were tainted after witnessing a man kill himself and seeing her mother have a heart attack at her aborted wedding, respectively). In book 9, she finally gets to remarry and, with her new husband, starts a detective business; in books 10-15, she goes undercover at other businesses to investigate things for their current case.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: According to Greg, Uncle Gary has never held down a real job for more than a few days.
  • Discworld:
    • Shawn Ogg of Lancre is, among other things, the captain of the guard, its standing armynote , the Royal Historian, a footman, the postman, and the conductor of the Lancre Light Symphony Orchestra. But his most important job is cleaning the privies. You can do without a Royal Historian for a week, but if the privies haven't been cleaned, you'll know about it.
    • Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler is another prominent example. Sure, he inevitably returns to his primary business of selling what are technically sausages "inna bun", but whenever a new industry begins to form in Ankh-Morpork, you can rest assured that Throat will try to cash in on it. All while employing the same level of quality control that he does with his sausages.
    • Ponder Stibbons, the Only Sane Man at Unseen University, keeps acquiring new job titles and duties simply because no one else wants them. By Unseen Academicals all those titles give him a majority vote on the University Council, meaning he's technically the most powerful person in the entire university.
    • Rincewind also has a string of job titles, except while Ponder has all the jobs that need someone to actually do them, Rincewind has the jobs that don't need done, just as long as someone officially has the job title. He gets extra buckets of coal for his troubles and sometimes some extra food.
  • In Loyal Enemies, before being taken by Magic Knight Veres as his student, Rest was, among others, apprentice to a tailor, a blacksmith, a baker and a furrier. He was kicked out of each of those jobs, although the reasons for it remain Noodle Incidents.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, tertiary character Ser Addam Marbrand winds up doing this. This is a pretty justified case since most of the higher-ranking members of the Lannister forces continually prove themselves to be incompetent screwups, but Ser Addam handles every task that Lord Tywin gives him to with competence and the sort of charisma that inspires loyalty. Over time Tywin develops a habit of assigning Ser Addam to fix whatever problem is bedeviling the Lannisters, keeping him there just long enough to iron things out, and then moving him on to the next problem. Ser Addam becomes exasperated by this, and in particular he loathes the last such assignment he is given, to be the captain of the capital's City Watch. When Jaime offers to get him out of the job and go back to his original position as a commander of the Lannister cavalary, Ser Addam practically leaps at the opportunity.
  • In Star Wars Knight Errant this become a plot point: the Protagonist Kerra Holt slowly discovers how not one, but several bystanders change their occupations during the brief stay at Arkadia's base of operations. She eventually discovers that inhabitants are constantly rotated between absolutely different positions on a completely random basis: it serves the Sith purpose in a pretty twisted way.
  • The father in The Swiss Family Robinson spent "a large portion of his childhood" in the workshops of every craftsman known to man. Admittedly he doesn't say he was working with them, but he had enough exposure to each to recreate their machinery from memory. In older, unedited-to-death editions, it becomes even clearer why he knows so much; he was a pastor back in Switzerland, and visited his congregation in their homes, including helping them out with their work while he talked with them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the last season of The A-Team, Murdock is released from the V.A. Hospital to be with his friends, and this becomes his gimmick for every episode.
  • Gerardo aka "the bald guy who talks really fast" on Aquí no hay quien viva. He's one of the most memorable Running Gags in the series, as he keeps switching jobs and confusing the neighbors with his quick explanations of whatever they might have bought from the place where he was working at the time.
  • Trish from Austin & Ally may very well be the personification of this trope; she gets at least one new job each episode, and is usually fired (or she quits) by the end. Even her catchphrase relates to this ("Guess who got a job at [insert workplace here]?").
  • On Barney Miller, Det. Arthur Dietrich had the question asked of him when he threatened to quit over a dispute with the Police Commissioner. His squad members listed all the other occupations that Dietrich had attempted and abandoned (including lumberjack and beekeeper — his "wilderness period") and convinced him he was just making an excuse to quit yet another profession.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Poor old Helo. He gets shoved around from job to job regardless of his actual rank. He's actually a trained Raptor copilot, so his job is to sit in the back, play on a computer handling all the communications, scanning and tracking, and get bossed around by his pilot. But during the course of the series he ends up as second-in-command of Galactica itself while most of the crew is planetside, caretaker to an onboard community of refugees, and even CAG — commander of all Galactica's fighters and Raptors.
    • Lee Adama started as a Viper pilot visiting from another ship and was promoted to Galactica's CAG by the end of the miniseries. Since then, he's had a number of jobs, including military advisor, Raptor pilot, military police, battlestar commander, legal counsel, Quorum representative, and even Acting President of the Colonies on various occasions. Sometimes he's held several of these positions at the same time. Lampshaded in one episode during some argument, with Tom Zarek saying, "Excuse me, I'm confused, but what exactly is your job this week?"
  • Mr Pitt appears in The Beiderbecke Affair and each of its two sequels, having taken what he describes as a 'sideways career move' each time.
  • The Brokenwood Mysteries: While Frodo eventually settles into his work as a coffee cart barista (who's conveniently parked at plot-relevant locations), the first few series see him working a variety of jobs ranging from apprentice mechanic to corndog entrepreneur that place him near the scene of the crime.
  • Xander in Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a new job in just about every episode. This was the season where his friends went to college and he was trying to find himself. Eventually, he settles into a construction worker. He later gets promoted to management.
  • In Charles in Charge, Ben Stein played an Obstructive Bureaucrat in various settings (bank, mental institution). Initially played as Inexplicably Identical Individuals, but lampshaded in his last appearance, when it is revealed that delusions of grandeur have led the character to repeatedly "promote" himself to increasingly higher-status positions.
  • Dirty Jobs: "Hi. My name's Mike Rowe. And this is my job."
  • Sgt Joe Friday and his various partners turn up in just about every police division, from Bunco to Citizens Complaints, on Dragnet. Explained in several episodes that they were "on loan" or "helping out" due to too much work.
  • In Doctor Who, Amy Pond seems to have a different job in each episode it comes up. In order, she is presented as: a kissogram, a model, a travel writer and, finally, a children's and mystery author. She also at one point has her own brand of perfume. While she may simply embark on each of these endeavors as they come, no mention is made of how she came to be in these roles. A less extreme example than many on this page, since from her perspective the episodes where she has these jobs are years apart, and besides the one jump from "pretty face" jobs to writing they share some continuity.
  • In Engine Sentai Go-onger, Hant's got a different part-time job every time his work situation comes up.
  • Henry on Eureka, complete with a different Velcro patch on his uniform for each of his jobs. In season 3, he gets a "Mayor" patch. He doesn't actually switch jobs a lot, he holds multiple jobs at once due to his expertise in many areas.
  • The Fugitive of the original TV series took about a job a week in the course of Walking the Earth. Harrison Ford, in The Movie, had only time enough to disguise himself a few times instead.
  • Game of Thrones: Across the series, Bronn has served as a dueling champion, a sellsword, a bodyguard, Commander of the City-Watch, household Knight, potential Lord and courtier, bodyguard again, siege organizer, commander, and during the battle, a ballista operator.
  • In the Get Smart episode "The Tequila Mockingbird", Valdez is the mayor of Miraloma, Mexico — as well as the Chief of Police, superintendent of schools, coroner, librarian, dogcatcher, city clerk, justice of the peace, tax collector, the saloonkeeper, the head of the tourist bureau, and the town torturer.
    • "I wanted to talk to the head of the tourist bureau." "Who told you I was head of the tourista bureau?" "Uh, the proprietor of the saloon told me." "I did not!"
  • Kirk from Gilmore Girls. It is eventually lampshaded when out of the blue, he overbids Luke in a real estate deal:
    Luke: Where the hell did you get that much money?
    Kirk: I've been working for eleven years. Luke, I've had fifteen thousand jobs.
    • He also doesn't seem to have a place to live, as seen as one episode where families in Stars Hollow "take turns" hosting Kirk while allowing him to babysit their children. (Though he seems to act just like one when he stays at Lorelai's house.)
  • Mr. Haney on Green Acres appeared whenever Oliver needed a specific service or item.
  • Subverted in Home Improvement, where the character is actually a set of triplets, who cause Tim trouble in multiple cities. Each one claims to be the nice one.
  • In Disney Channel's I-Man the protagonist, technically, keeps one job, but he has tried dozens of professions earlier. His phrase "I've worked as <insert occupation>, but quit, because the job was nervous" is something between Running Gag and Verbal Tic. Which makes a good excuse for Suddenly Always Knew That. It was a pilot for a cancelled series about an unkillable MacGyver.
  • The Jack Benny Program:
    • Frank Nelson played an omnipresent clerk who gave Benny trouble across multiple industries. At one point it was lampshaded in the quote formerly at the top of the page.
      Jack Benny: You again!! Every time I met you, you have another job! You're my waiter, my bellboy, my shop clerk! Now you're a lawyer?!?
      Frank Nelson: Well, at least I am trying to better myself in life, what's your excuse?
    • The role originated on the early radio show. He was identifiable by his bald head, mustache, and catchphrase, "Yeeeeeeeees?". Nelson played this same role on many other shows including I Love Lucy, Sanford and Son, and even a Garfield special. After his death, a similar character showed up on The Simpsons, explaining his odd cadence with "I had a stroooooooke!" The Simpsons character even has, in one episode, a Brazilian lookalike who says, "Siiiiim?":
    • Jack Benny's show also brought us Mr. Kitzel, who started as a hot dog vendor but eventually took on all sorts of random jobs.
    • The episode of the Jack Benny program quoted above was a dream episode where Benny is on trial for murdering a rooster. He hires Perry Mason (Raymond Burr himself) to defend him but he is roundly beaten by Nelson.
  • Little House on the Prairie: "Troublemaker," from Season 2, saw Charles ask the new teacher, Hannibal Applewood, why his resume was so lengthy, exposing the reason why he kept moving to new schools every few months and never holding them for long.
  • Lost
    • Minor flashback character Randy Nations is seen as Hurley's boss at Mr Clucks' Chicken Shack, then Hurley's employee at the Chicken Shack, then Locke's boss at the box company, and most recently an employee at "Circuit House". Hurley bought Mr Clucks after winning the lottery (keeping Randy on as manager) but it was short-lived because the restaurant was hit by a meteorite. Attributing this event to his streak of bad luck, Hurley felt bad about losing Randy his job and got him a position at the box company he owned, where Randy proceeded to act like an even bigger Jerkass knowing that he had protection from on high. When Hurley was presumed dead in the plane crash, karma hit Randy square in the ass.
    • Locke qualifies as well: box company, toy store, hippie, home inspector, shaman...
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth in Merlin. His official title is "Court Genealogist", but he also runs the library and (even more oddly) officiates various court ceremonies, like coronations and marriages.
  • In Midsomer Murders, Inspector Barnaby's wife and daughter would have new jobs or volunteer gigs almost every other episode to justify their proximity to the latest murder(s). If they stayed home, the county murder rate would probably drop by half.
  • In Monk, it's revealed that Natalie Teeger is a walking example of this trope, having bounced from job to job before working for Monk. Some known occupations have included a temporary job at a mall, a stint in a regular office, and a Vegas blackjack dealer.
  • Nick on My Family had a new job in almost every episode. On one occasion, he was able to afford a motorbike because he'd been saving up the severance pay every time he was fired. Later in the series, Abi went through a large number of jobs as well.
  • After being fired from Shortywood on an episode of Pit Boss, Ronald switched jobs constantly. He did get his old job back, though.
  • In the second half of Power Rangers Turbo, Bulk and Skull had a different job-of-the-week, sometimes losing it (or saying Screw This, I'm Outta Here) onscreen. The two would get a permanent job working for Professor Phenomenous in the next season.
  • This is the essential premise of The Pretender: Each week, Jarod uses his unfathomable intelligence to slide into a new job as though he's had it for years, Set Right What's In The Process of Going Wrong, and then escape just before his former captors at The Center find him.
  • This is Shawn's entire background before forming the eponymous detective agency in Psych. He seems willing to keep this up if it helps the case, too, as when he took a job at the museum in "From the Earth to Starbucks."
  • This trope is Played for Drama in Roseanne. Dan is an independent contractor who has to bid on different jobs, and is shown to have skills in various areas of carpentry, construction, and plumbing, but has a hard time finding a permanent position anywhere. Roseanne has a steady job in a plastics factory in the first season, but leads a walkout when it's taken over by a sexist boss who treats her and the other women on the staff like slaves. For the rest of the series, she's shown trying to find permanent employment while taking on all manner of thankless part-time jobs including telemarketing, serving fast food, sweeping floors in a beauty parlor, waitressing, and giving away free samples in a supermarket. The lack of steady wages makes the Conners live in Perpetual Poverty and constantly struggle to make ends meet, especially since both Dan and Roseanne are also determined to be good parents to their kids. A few seasons have them trying to go into business for themselves by opening a motorcycle shop (which fails, wiping out their savings) and restaurant (which does better and gives Roseanne something of a cushion to fall back on).
  • Roland from Sabrina the Teenage Witch takes on a new role in each of his appearances: finder, equalizer, private investigator, leprechaun and finally Cupid's assistant.
    Zelda: Some people collect stamps. You collect jobs.
  • Kramer from Seinfeld doesn't really have a designated job, but he is regularly seen taking on odd jobs or getting caught up in various get rich quick schemes. A last-season episode revealed that he has technically been on strike from his bagel store job for the entire run of the show, and he managed to get himself fired immediately after going back.
  • Major Marks, recurring character in the Stargate-verse, has been an officer aboard all five of the Air Force's star ships over the course 3-4 years of three shows. No explanation has been given for his frequent transfers, and in one instance he might have been in two places at once.
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek: The Original Series: one crewman (Lt. Leslie) filled a bewildering number of jobs aboard the Enterprise. He has been a security guard, helmsman/weapons officer, navigator, medtech, bridge crewman, technician, engineer and transporter chief. Other redshirts seem to float from position to position as well.
    • Between The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and his back story, Miles O'Brien has been a tactical officer, flight controller, security guard, a transporter chief, tactical officer again (briefly), one of the greatest engineers in the galaxy, and then moves on to teaching at Starfleet Academy. Not a bad career path for an enlisted man.
    • Fellow Transplant Worf has been communications officer, security chief, tactical officer, ambassador, and back to tactical whenever crossing back over for the TNG movies, and when Data was thought to be dead, Worf was the one who was going to get his jobs, too (meaning he'd have been doing his, Tasha's, and Data's jobs all himself at once had Data's death been for real).
    • Star Trek: Voyager.
      • Out of sheer need and a desire to be useful (so the nice people don't kick him off) Neelix has been a jack of all trades. Morale officer, cook, diplomat, babysitter and much more as the plot calls for it. His background had given him a deep understanding of these jobs.
      • Tom Paris is the Officer In Charge Of Everything. He's an ace pilot, engineer, negotiator, and transporter chief, and his training in biochemistry has made him the official nurse as well. Because obviously in a situation where you need a nurse there is no possible way you could also require a pilot. He's also their historian, at least when it comes to the 20th/21st century. He's also a sailor and would have joined the Federation Navy if his Admiral father hadn't forced him into Starfleet.
  • On Undercover Boss, we have an unfortunate variation of this trope, where a woman ends up with three or four different jobs... all at the same time, and with the same company. Downsizing's a bitch. She literally runs from building to building, frantically skipping from job to job. After she's promoted in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, her job is replaced by two people and an assistant.
  • In Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, a woman appears in some of the episodes of the first two seasons, sporting a new job, and it's not like she only does normal jobs either — she also appears at the Wizarding School. She is easily identified through her monotone voice and short, dark hair and always seems to hate whatever she is doing for that episode.
  • The 60s-70s Brit Com The Worker may count as a variation. The title character, played by Charlie Drake, can never hold down a job for more than one episode, but his reason for getting fired is never the same twice.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • If wrestling bothered to pay, maybe they wouldn't need to switch jobs so much.
  • Wrestlers often go through many personae in their career. Newer wrestlers may be given gimmicks designed to cover up their relative lack of experience, and older wrestlers may be given them to cover up declining skills. Sometimes, it's to give a wrestler a change of pace when one characterization has become stale.
    • In the mid 90's, a common trope was the Wrestling Professional. One of the classic examples is Thurmond "Sparky" Plugg, later Bob "Spark Plug" Holly, who was a wrestling race car driver. Also around at the time, T.L. Hopper, the wrestling plumber, Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, the wrestling garbage man, and Big Bossman, the wrestling prison guard. Most of these gimmicks can safely be called WrestleCrap.
    • John Cena, after debuting was directionless until management saw him jokingly rapping back stage. His first identifiable gimmick in WWE was as a white rapper in the vein of Vanilla Ice, even releasing an album. While his freestyle raps were later abandoned, vestiges of it remained in his ring persona.
    • These job changes can be dramatic. In the early 2000's The Undertaker took a turn from an undead, supernatural zombie character to a brutal biker, still called The Undertaker. He later returned to the "Deadman" gimmick due to negative reaction.
  • The undisputed king of changing jobs in professional wrestling is Ed Leslie, most well known as Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake in WWF in the late 1980's. As a close friend of icon Hulk Hogan, he was always given preferential treatment, despite a relative lack of skill. To keep him at the front of people's minds, his character changed frequently. Some of his other gimmicks included "Brother Bruti", a fanatical follower of Hogan, and "The Bootyman", a Lothario. He in total has kept about 10-12 different on-screen characters, far more then most wrestlers do in a career.
  • Jacqueline was a manager, except in NWA Florida's territory she stepped in the ring besides her men and helped them win Tag Team Tiltes. So she was a wrestler but then was a referee. Then she was a bodyguard for hire. Then she was doing color commentary. Then she dressed up for kids as the Easter Bunny. Then she was on tv as a judge and trainer of aspiring wrestlers.
  • This became part of Mick Foley's persona, late in his career: At various times, he had been the Psycho for Hire Cactus Jack, Surfer Dude Dude Love, and Psychopathic Manchild Mankind. Foley played them off less as jobs than as alternate personalities, culminating in a memorable Royal Rumble where Foley competed as all three of his personae (he got eliminated as Cactus Jack, went backstage and came out as Mankind, and later returned as Dude Love).
    • That wasn't the culmination... seven years later, WWE had fans vote online for several match stipulations at Taboo Tuesday. For Carlito's match with Foley, the vote was whether Carlito would face Cactus Jack, Dude Love, or Mankind. Mankind won the vote and the match.
  • Prince Nana has on more than one occasion teased leaving or actually left Ring of Honor only to return not much later in a new position. He started as wrestler before becoming a manager of an Embassy, then was forced to become a wrestler again, then became a talent scout, which he used to become a manager again and then became a commentator.
  • Teddy Long is best known as a referee, or maybe as a manager, or a general manager, or a political activist...

    Puppet Shows 
  • Gwen on Johnny and the Sprites. She liked to try out a lot of different jobs as her aunt had a saying that "You never know what you can do until you try out something new."
  • The Pajanimals has Edwin, who is a magician, but is always pretending to be some type of job or role each time the Pajanimals visit him, often royal stuff such as a king or a knight.
  • Grover on Sesame Street. His most well-known position was as a waiter at Charlie's Restaurant, opposite the Blue Man, and even these expanded into a wider variety of spots — as a hot dog vendor, a taxi driver, elevator operator, etc. — all thoroughly incapable of satisfying his one recurring customer.
    • In the '70s Grover frequently appeared as a door-to-door salesman, usually calling on Kermit the Frog. Each time he'd be peddling a different item, and always something a frog would have no use for: earmuffs, toothbrush, nose warmer, etc.
    • A full list of his jobs can be found here.
  • Pam-I-Am from The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss has multiple jobs—such jobs include a personal trainer, an art critic, a linguist, a repair girl, a medic, etc. The emblem on her hat also depends on the theme of the episode.

  • Neddy Seagoon and many other characters in The Goon Show.
  • Hancock's Half Hour had an unnamed character the writers called 'Snide', who has a different occupation in every episode he appears in. The minute Kenneth Williams (who also played Round the Horne's Sandy) coos " 'ello", the audience burst out laughing, anticipating Tony's horrified reaction.
  • Round the Horne: Julian and Sandy tried a new job every week while waiting for their acting careers to pick up. The standard set-up for their sketches was for Kenneth Horne to enter a shop or some other place of business and be unexpectedly greeted by Julian's catchphrase. "Oh 'ello, I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy."

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Lampshaded in one of Dane Cook's routines about "The Scary Guy at Work":
    "Even now at your job, there is a freak. There is a weird guy at every job... And the strange thing about it is, it's the same guy, at every single job you go to. He's there, you quit, you go to the new job, and you're like "Oh my God, isn't that the guy from the other job?! 'It's the guy! THE SCARY GUY!'"

  • The appropriately named Common Man in A Man for All Seasons fills all the various minor odd jobs in the play.
  • In Blood Brothers, an actor plays a milkman for one scene, then shows up a few minutes later claiming to have given up the milk rounds and become a gynecologist. After this, the show leaves it ambiguous as to whether or not all the other characters he plays are just the same person with a different job.
  • The Kurt Weill opera Die Bürgschaft has a trio of nameless villains who play a different role in each scene they appear in.
  • A rather creepy version is the baritone guy in Death in Venice, who appears in seven different forms and jobs. It's the same singer, and, well, most likely a symbol for This guy.
  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, the character of Ko-Ko is the Lord High Executioner. The character of Pooh-Bah is "The Lord High Everything Else". At the most extreme he changes jobs six times in one paragraph, twice per sentence.
    Of course, as First Lord of the Treasury, I could propose a special vote that would cover all expenses, if it were not that, as Leader of the Opposition, it would be my duty to resist it, tooth and nail. Or, as Pay master-General, I could so cook the accounts that, as Lord High Auditor, I should never discover the fraud. But then, as Archbishop of Titipu, it would be my duty to denounce my dishonesty and give myself into my own custody as First Commissioner of Police.
  • In Our Town, the narrator himself appears in the play several times, each time having a different job.

  • Barbie has been everything from a stewardess to an astronaut, which is lampshaded in an episode of Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys would often include the turtles in various jobs such as soldiers, spies, samurai, emergency services etc. Those jobs make sense considering the turtles' heroic nature, but when you have Surfer Michelangelo or Rock Star Leonardo, it's getting out of hand. If you watched the 80s cartoon, Surfer Michelangelo would be far more likely than soldier or spy!
  • Sylvanian Families has a rather strange case — as character sets get discontinued and introduced, the jobs of the characters all get shuffled around. For example, Rebecca's dad was the dentist in the village, but when the Hamster family was discontinued, he's suddenly the nursery bus driver. Likewise, Rebecca's mom was a nurse at the dentist office, but became a preschool teacher. Pier's dad somehow got saddled with double duty as both the teacher at school and as town mayor when the hound family was discontinued — Dennis' father was previously the teacher of the school. Likewise, Saffron's parents were previously thespians at the local theatre, but we're changed into inventor and salon owner respectively.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Larry Butz constantly switches jobs between cases, usually to get closer to his latest girlfriend. By the end of the first three games, he seems to have found his knack in painting. By the time of Spirit of Justice, he managed to earn considerable fame as a picture book author, implying that by focusing on his artistic skills, Larry has finally found his true calling.
    • Wendy Oldbag, meanwhile, is a security guard in a different venue every time she shows up. The first time it's justified — she snipes at Phoenix about how Global Studios fired her following the first game. Although in Investigations she seems to have taken a part time job wearing costumes for Gatewaterland. Edgeworth wishes she'd kept the mask on.
    • Maggey Byrde is more or less forced into this due to her chronic bad luck. By Ace Attorney Investigations she begins to enjoy the constant change in scenery now that people like Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Gumshoe all usually are there to bail her out of the worst situations.
  • In the Cake Mania series Risha, who was running a bakery in Cake Mania 2 and a flower shop in Cake Mania 4: Main Street, opens a boutique in Cake Mania 5: Lights, Camera, Action! She comments on it at the beginning of one level.
    Risha: When I was a little girl I dreamed of running a trendy boutique when I grew up. Of course, I also dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast... a Nobel laureate... a film director... and a forensic anthropologist. Hey, four out of five isn't bad!
  • Funky Kong in Donkey Kong Country was a plane/helicopter salesman in the first 2 DKC games, ran a boat hire firm in the third game, was an ammunition/weapon maker in Donkey Kong 64, and still found time to race in Mario Kart Wii!
  • Fallout: New Vegas The Courier takes on many, many jobs throughout their romps throughout the wasteland, including Bounty Hunter, soldier, repairman, doctor, drill instructor, assassin, cook, hunter, and of course, Courier.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Namingway from Final Fantasy IV DS loses his original job of changing character names because the game now has voiced cutscenes, making him suddenly unable to fulfill his job when his attempts to change names won't stick anymore, and spends the rest of the game trying out new jobs whenever he meets the party in a new location. He finds his calling 17 in-universe years later in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, however, as the Challenge Dungeon Manager. Rather hilariously, every time he changes his job, he also changes his name. So in effect, he's still fulfilling his original purpose (changing names), but only for himself.
    • Tataru from Final Fantasy XIV is normally the secretary of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the organization the player joins. However, when money begins to get tight, she tries her hand at multiple jobs to raise money from jobs the player can do such as mining and weaving to more bizarre things like street performing and being a waitress. She also tries to learn how to fight by becoming an Arcanist, but although she is able to summon a carbuncle, it completely ignores her. Weaving is the only side job that she has shown any talent at (she made Alphinaud and Alisaie's new outfits for them and creates a nice clothing set for the Warrior of Light as well.)
  • Game & Watch: Mario has been a packager, cement factory worker, soldier in Vietnam, a lot more things than he even normally is. That's not even taking the Gallery series into consideration.
  • Not only is Sierokarte of Granblue Fantasy a shopkeeper, a blacksmith and a cook, she also happens to be a bartender, an innkeeper and also does various odd jobs as the plot demands.
  • The radio stations for the Grand Theft Auto series almost always include Lazlow Jones hosting at least one segment of a station — the explanation being that, within about two decades, he's been fired from six stations across three different states.
  • The store clerk (dubbed "Beard" by fans) from Hotline Miami, who is employed at every single establishment the player character visits. Since the first two thirds of the game are a coma-induced psychedelic flashback, the store clerk's constant presence is just a projection of the protagonist's shattered mind. The sequel reveals his true identity: He was an old army buddy of the main character, who died several years before the first game took place that the protagonist keeps hallucinating.
  • Besides being The Hero, Link himself has had many oddjobs. A world traveler in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a blacksmith's apprentice in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and a rancher in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Justified by them being different Links. These jobs later turn out to be Chekhov's Skill when helping others on side quests or fighting a monster.
  • Sheep Man in Mega Man 10 originally herded sheep; he was built for that purpose. He got bored and worked to test static cling at a textiles factory. He grew bored of this too and was about to change jobs once again when he was inflicted with Roboenza and went berserk.
  • Stan from the Monkey Island series is running a different business in each game. In order, they are: used ship salesman, used coffin salesman, life insurance salesman, time-share representative and attorney-at-law-who-makes-a-side-income-by-selling-souvenirs-based-on-his-cases. His job changes are often explained as a result of something that Guybrush did in the previous game.
  • Danny from Night in the Woods is this and fully aware of it. Having been canned from his construction job, he spends the rest of the game struggling to keep employment, including brief stints at the Ol' Pickaxe and the Clik-Clak Diner. In the epilogue, he's shown to have gotten a job at a new taco joint in town.
  • In No More Heroes, protagonist Travis earns his money in both games by doing every job imaginable, however, his boss in each job is always the same. It probably has something to do with "the unspoken laws of Santa Destroy" he keeps babbling about.
  • In Psychonauts, you meet a mysterious Almighty Janitor occupying various jobs in various locations. He turns out to be the legendary superspy Ford Cruller, the commander of the Psychonauts, and it later turns out that his mind was shattered into fragments in the past. Despite appearances he's not merely keeping an eye on things with his different jobs, each one is a different fragment of his mind.
  • Randal's Monday: Justified. Murray keeps getting reassigned due to his incompetence and Randal's shenanigans. How he ends up being a prison guard is never properly explained, though.
  • Sybil Pandemik from Telltale Games' Sam & Max adventure games, as seen in the article image above. She has a different job in every episode of Season One, and each of them is coincidentally useful in solving the case.
    • Well, almost all of them, she's already been through about 3 or 4 jobs by her first appearances. By the end of Season One she's been: interior decorator, taxidermist, tattooist, psychotherapist, tabloid journalist, professional witness, dating service, carbon-dating service, beta tester, and Queen of Canada. In Season Two she uses her office for other purposes, such as choosing a new boyfriend and planning her wedding, though she doesn't do anything commercially.
    • All throughout Season Three, whenever you meet someone new (at least for that season) it takes a snapshot of them, and provides (usually) three "useful" facts about them. When Sybil shows up, it shows "former Psychotherapist, Former Brain Surgeon" and trails off the screen. You can hear the amount of jobs she's had speeding up and continuing to list past the screen!
    • Sam refers to it as "Attention Deficit Career Disorder", or something like that, which is an apt name, as with each career change, Sybil gushes about how convinced she is that she's finally found her one true calling.
  • In The Sims 4, you are encouraged to make your sims quit their current job and get a new one once they've reached the top of the existing career ladder. This is enforced though aspiration changes (certain aspirations require your sim to be working in a particular occupation to proceed) or unlocking household furniture and equipment (unlocking an appliance or furniture for one sim does not automatically make it available to all sims in the save file).
  • Bea Bear from the SPY Fox series. The game Operation Ozone had her explain why she changed jobs.
  • As the only non-LARPer in the Fargarths, Sunset Overdrive's Wendy is constantly changing roles is an attempt to fit in better.
  • A good deal of the Super Mario Bros. cast. To date, Mario alone has been a carpenter, a plumber, a doctor, a demolitionist, a grocer, a pizza delivery man (in the Donkey Kong record album), a kart racer, and a toy maker, on top of constantly rescuing Peach from Bowser.
    • And all that is if you don't count referenced cameos in games not specifically mentioned as something involving the Universal-Adaptor Cast. He's also played baseball (Baseball), golf (Mario Golf), soccer (Mario Strikers), refereed and played tennis matches (Mario Tennis), and even worked the count in the boxing ring (Punch-Out!!). This might explain why Mario holds the record for most appearances in a video game.
  • According to the Team Fortress 2 War! Update comics, the RED Demoman's father held something like thirty jobs simultaneously. (The Demoman himself works three jobs.)
  • The Thief series' recurring duo of "Dumb Guard" and "Smart Guard", who guard multiple locations throughout the first two games. The smarter one eventually reveals in the penultimate mission of the second game that they keep getting fired because Garrett keeps breaking into the buildings they're guarding to steal things.
  • Tokyo Afterschool Summoners: While Nomad is primarily a detective, he usually takes other jobs to help himself be financially stable. These jobs include body guarding Claude, body guarding Gabriel, babysitting, running a yakisoba stand, and a fitness instructor.
  • Mona from the WarioWare series has had a different job in nearly every game. She's been a gelato server (original), a waitress (Mega Party Game$), a pizza delivery gal (Twisted), the bass player in a rock band (while still delivering pizzas, Touched), a cheerleader and a steamed bun street vendor (Smooth Moves), a roller-coaster operator (Snapped), an explorer/reporter (D.I.Y.), a photojournalist (Game & Wario), and a fashionista (Gold). If you include her appearance as an easter egg in Rhythm Heaven Megamix, she's also been a sports reporter and interviewer. She also works as a games developer for Wario throughout. What makes all of this especially weird is that she's listed as a high school student, and all these jobs are part-time. Her boss, Joe, is usually seen working alongside her, so it's most likely that she follows him when he decides to change careers.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Lancer, left alone after the Fifth Holy Grail War, keeps taking on several different menial jobs across Fuyuki, from fisherman, to florist, to gardener, to waiter at Ahnenerbe.
  • Xianne from Melody has a couple of waitressing jobs over the course of the series, plus jobs in a strip club and her aunt’s massage parlor. At the end, it’s possible (depending on the romantic paths taken) for Melody to hire her as a masseuse for the protagonist, Sophia, and herself.

    Web Animation 
  • AstroLOLogy: The characters' employment varies between shorts, the most consistent being Cancer as a nurse, Virgo as a dental hygienist, Scorpio as a handyman, and Capricorn as a mover. This is lampshaded in Aries' official bio, which says that his impulsive nature means he's constantly looking for a new job.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Several of the characters who worked at the mall in episode 5 are working at the carnival in episode 7. Its hand waved by the job change only being for the week the carnival is in town.
  • In The Grossery Gang webseries, Fingers takes on many random jobs whenever it is needed. He has been a shark, a butler, a construction worker, a rancher, a tailor, and a guard dog.
  • Many characters in Happy Tree Friends have been seen with various jobs, but Lumpy is definitely the worst offender. He's been a farmer, surgeon, carol singer, etc.
  • In Helluva Boss, Wally Wackford has a different job every time he appears. In the first season alone, he's been an inconvenient torch salesman at an amusement park ("Loo Loo Land,") the owner of a tech startup ("C.H.E.R.U.B,") the announcer for the Harvest Moon Festival ("Harvest Moon Festival,") and the bartender at Asmodeus' nightclub ("Ozzie's.")
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Bubs can always be found behind the counter of his concession stand, but what goods and/or services he has available at the time is often plot-dependent. This could be seen as him just being an opportunist and spontaneously catering to whatever need the others happen to have at the time (regardless of whether or not it's within his areas of expertise), but notably he once switched from selling "questionable medical coverage" to selling donuts before it came up as a plot point. And was very upset when it turned out to be one, in the form of Homestar also setting up a donut stand about five feet away.
    • Senor Cardgage has been a mortgage consultant, a used car salesman, an "Intregway" seller, author of "The Homeless Romantic", a movie theater usher, and (probably creepiest of all) a daycare owner.
  • Minilife TV: Newbie, a recurring character first seen working at the Starsaber place in "Starsaber Duel", is usually seen working at a different job each episode. Lampshaded in "Chris and Ian Fight for Minilife!", where he says he seems to be unable to keep a job for more than a week.
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: Even though the Epic Skatepark Owner is a skatepark owner, he also shows up to fill the waiter role whenever a restaurant setting appears, and makes a comment suggesting he might do construction work as well.
  • So far, the Ugly Old Hag from Shaggy Dog Stories has been seen running a trap store, a video rentals store, a pet shop, and an 'Authentic Italian Cuisine' stall.
  • SMG4:
    • Luigi is shown in at least three or four videos to be working a new job, such as a casino game host, a milkman and an ice cream man. He apparently has to take a number of jobs to pay for the destruction Mario causes in his misadventures.
    • Kermit and Jeeves are both shown to have a different profession each time they show up, usually without explanation.
    • Played for Drama with Meggy. After Meggy's Destiny: An SMG4 Movie, she starts bouncing between jobs that she picked up as hobbies during her earlier appearances, including police officer, firefighter, and defense attorney, each of which she either drops out of after the end of the episode or doesn't follow through with at all. It's eventually made clear that this is because she's Desperately Seeking A Purpose In Life, which leads to a nervous breakdown. After finally finding direction during Sunset Paradise, she commits herself to being a sports coach.
    • For a while from 2019 to 2020, Swagmaster and Chris had a variety of different jobs such as prison guard, firemen, soldiers, and McDonald's workers.

  • 8-Bit Theater's Akbar runs a different shop every time he appears, always with blatantly deceptive marketing.
  • Achewood's Ray Smuckles sees a business opportunity around every corner, from Williams and Sonoma Erotic Fiction to machine rolled marijuana cigarettes.
  • Earl of College Roomies from Hell!!! personifies this trope.
  • Ennui GO!: Midway through the Key Manati arc, we meet Sybil, who has a new job every time she's met, because she keeps getting fired for telling nightmarish company secrets and generally being toxic and obnoxious. This is later revealed to be intentional on her part.
  • Existential Comics: Karl Marx constantly shows up performing new jobs. Given that he attempts to apply Marxist analysis to everything and encourages communist revolution in the workplace, his constantly shifting careers may be justified.
  • Butterwort, the insane one-eyed rabbit, in Murry Purry Fresh and Furry is always showing up in various jobs. Lampshaded here.
  • Vess MacMeal from Platypus Comix first appeared in Keiki comic, as a spokesgirl for a blackmailing service. She later starred in her own comic, as a teacher. Today, she runs a Q&A column in Portland, Oregon periodical BANG! Magazine, and claims to have many other side jobs. Incidentally, her name intentionally sounds similar to that of Tress MacNeille, who voiced Lindsay Naegle in The Simpsons.
  • Recon A. Dye serves this purpose in Pokémon-X. Yes, the Author Avatar. Leads to a lot of You Look Familiar.
  • Precocious: Rival comic artist Mat Sherer (of Badly Drawn Kitties) has a recurring cameo role, working in a different job practically every arc he appears in. And unlike most examples he has an explanation for the frequent job changes, those damn kids!
  • Real Life has this with Alan Extra, who is basically anything from a pilot to a movie theater worker, to a random guy on the street who gave the main character directions.
    • In fact, one of the comics states flat out that Alan Extra is everyone who isn't a named character. Store Clerk? Alan. Tech Support? Alan. Guy in panel 1 who looks different from guy in panel 4? Both are Alan.

    Web Original 
  • A running gag with Kanoko on Gaia Online was her constant short-lived attempts at employment in various Chance Item storylines. Eventually she managed to find long-term work as a shop assistant at two shops, but she still applied to be a Halloween mascot the next year, which led to a Lampshade Hanging.
    So, for Halloween, I was thinking sort of a cute, elegant... wait, why am I still looking for a job?
  • Initially played straight with Ben Schwartz's character on Jake and Amir. Throughout the series, there was a running gag that involved Schwartz showing up with a different occupation every time; in one episode he'd be a painter, in another he'd be a milk man, in another he'd be a real estate agent, etc. And each time, he'd insist he was a totally new person that Jake and Amir had never met before. It's ultimately subverted when the finale rolls around, and it's revealed that they really are all different people. They just happen to look extremely similar.
  • Played with in The Joker Blogs: the Joker recruits a homeless man named Ted to help film his exploits. Over the course of about half an hour (if that), Ted claims to have been a cameraman for the news, a priest, a medic and a delivery man. It's unclear if he's desperate to sound useful or genuinely unwell.
    • Season 2 confirms that he was at least telling the truth about being a GCN cameraman, and that he was married to Summer Gleason while employed there.
  • The Yurble Janitor/Foreman/whatever outfit he's shoved into next plot in Neopets.
  • Mocked in The Nostalgia Chick's review of Jem: the Jem dolls might just be a blatant money-making fad, but at least she knows what she wants to do with her life, while Barbie (see above) seems to have ADHD or something.
  • SuperMarioLogan:

    Western Animation 
  • Mr. H, or Hollywood as he's referred to in the credits, is a recurring character on 2 Stupid Dogs who tends to have a different job depending on the episode's plot. Substitute teacher, farmer, and actor are just some of the occupations he's assumed.
  • Jonesy from 6teen has a Running Gag of being fired Once per Episode. He's also a main character, which is a tad rare.
    • One episode shows he has a resume consisting of some thirty pages of work history. He says this should help him get a job, but his friends point out he's never worked anywhere for more than a day. The sheer ridiculous size of the mall contribute to this.
    • According to Jude, if Jonesy had been able to work at Stick it before it was closed due to health reasons, Jude would had fired Jonesy for sticking the wrong meat in the wrong stick despite their friendship.
  • The 9th Life of Sherman Phelps: Sherman and Ronald have a different job in each episode. They're movers in the first film, policemen in the secod, and butchers in the fifth.
  • Those Two Guys from The Adventures of Figaro Pho take on many jobs, such as ballet dancing and ghost hunting.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Laurence "Larry" Needlemeyer is seen working in every store, restaurant, and city establishment. Word of God explained that he holds these jobs simultaneously ("The Menu" reveals he has exactly 38 jobs) and this was formally addressed a few times in the show:
      • In "The Finale", he explains that the Wattersons have caused so much property damage, he needs to have a ridiculous amount of income sources in order to pay for the repair of the shops he works shifts at.
      • In the The Pizza, he has such a bad day at work that he quits his ALL of his jobs and moves out of Elmore. Since he had practically every blue-collar job in the city, society crumbles down and the apocalypse begins. All within fifteen minutes.
      • In "The Schooling", Gumball and Darwin take Larry's jobs for a few minutes, showing how much he has to suffer daily. His list of work is extremely long. They switch from job to job by hearing the customer.
    • Rockwell "Rocky" Robinson fills every non-teaching, non-administrative job at Elmore Junior High, usually the janitor, the cafeteria worker, and the bus driver.
    • Some minor characters also change their jobs from episode to episode, such as Gary Hedges (bus driver and mailman), Pantsbully (hot dog vendor, truck driver, cashier), and Karen (office worker at two buildings, town hall worker). In fact, almost every minor adult has had more than one job. The most common is a character working at Chanax Inc. and Rainbow Factory like Karen mentioned above, which are two different buildings, but any random minor adults can be slapped into either of those to fulfill the plot.
  • American Dad!:
    • Officer Turlington, IRS/Spa Inspector/Officer of Internal Affairs, who usually shows up in his plot-related episodes to give the characters a really good, in-universe Mind Screw. As it turns out, he's just having a hell of a difficult time with his personal life as do the Smiths with their criminal activities, as demonstrated in the episodes "Meter Made", "Live and Let Fry", and "Chimdale".
    • Roger has not only had every job imaginable, he's had every persona imaginable. In one episode, he even appears as two different people in the same workplace, so he can file a sexual harassment claim against himself.
  • Treeflower, Norb's Love Interest from The Angry Beavers always seems to have a new job, and new personality aspects to match. This is lampshaded in the episode where Norb and Dag try to tease her and end up being teased right back by the tribe of female raccoons from an earlier episode.
  • The gag credits for the first season of Animaniacs listed Kathryn Page as a different nonsensical crew member. These may all be part of her "real" job as one of the interns, as shown in another segment of the credits. Whether all these odd responsibilities mean she's more trusted than the other intern or a bigger target is a matter of speculation.
  • Played for Laughs in Arthur involving the Ghost of Lunch Tomorrow, a Binky-look-alike ghost with a sandwich over his head that is responsible for revealing what food will be available at the next lunch. He first appears in the episode "Prunella Gets It Twice" tagging alongside the Ghost of Presents Past (who reveals the circumstances of how a present was obtained) when the former was haunting Prunella. He later appears in "Arthur Changes Gear" as the Ghost of Bicycles Never Riden (this time in a biking uniform instead of his cloak, though he still has the sandwich over his head), haunting Arthur for not using his newly bought bike. The Ghost shows Arthur a few characters who withhold using their precious items, one of whom was Prunella, who remembers their last encounter and thinks he came to tell her tomorrow's lunch. The Ghost then decides to leave with Arthur before it gets awkward.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has an episode where we meet a guy under the identities of Dock the ferryman, Xu the shopkeeper, and Bushi the river cleaner. Word of God has it that he has a split personality because his mind is screwed up from the pollution in the river where he gets his water.
  • Even though she's usually a singer, Betty Boop is often shown working at different jobs in her cartoons.
  • Meeker and Snurd from Bobby's World all constantly reappear with different jobs ranging from pee-wee sports coaches to Airport Security personnel. The Generics always act like they've met for the first time.
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • Every season, the main characters (Bojack, Princess Carolyn, Mr. Peanutbutter) get a new job.
    • Todd is the king of this trope, in certain seasons getting a new job almost every episode. His occupations include: website executive, owner of an amusement park, owner of a year-round Halloween store, owner of a clown dentistry practice, owner of an Uber competitor, assistant to Mr. Peanutbutter, stagehand, prisoner, etc.
  • Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks, who is seen working in almost any low-wage service job you can think of; everything from ice cream trucks, to school buses, to janitorial duty, etc. He's mentioned that he holds down about 32-47 different jobs at the same time. There is no explanation for how he has time to do anything else (or sleep for that matter).
  • Rancid Rabbit of CatDog is a fairly untrustworthy example of the trope, seemingly filling every authority position on the show. In one episode, he appears as both a teacher and a policeman. Cat is a bit surprised.
    • To a lesser extent, this also applies to Mervis, Dunglap and Mr. Sunshine, as they are also seen with different jobs throughout the series, but not as frequent or noitceable as that of Rancid Rabbit.
  • Joshua from Clarence is a depressing version of this trope, winding up at a job in every place where his least favorite person, Clarence, is going. Whenever he's at work, expect something to go wrong.
  • This is Goofy's whole schtick in Classic Disney Shorts. He's later joined by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Then again, Donald has had quite a lot of jobs himself, mostly due to his own incompetence.
  • Jim Moralès from Code Lyoko may have a stable job now, but he's had a ridiculous number of jobs in the past, 21 in total, from sewer worker to basketball star to locksmith to B-Movie actor to professional ping-pong player. This all in addition to 20 years as a gym teacher at Kadic. Every time someone brings up one of his old jobs, he tells them that "I'd rather not talk about it." The catch phrase became the name of an episode, in which Jim gives the kids a run-down of some of his old jobs. Though there always seems to be some truth in these jobs, he still tends to embellish his exact role.
  • The recurring red mustache guy from Courage the Cowardly Dog holds many different jobs depending on the episode. Many of his jobs include working as a Nowhere police officer, an archaeologist, a captain, a pilot, a New York police officer, a ranger, a soda vending machine, a general, a pirate, and a mayor. He even sometimes had his hair and mustache changed to white.
  • The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel. One "I Am Weasel" episode has Weasel being sent to jail with Baboon by Baboon's lawyer (the Red Guy). At prison, he meets the jailer (also the Red Guy) and accuses them of being the same person, which causes the jailer to become nervous and dodge the issue.
    • It varied from episode to episode whether Red Guy was one person changing jobs or a series of Inexplicably Identical Individuals. In one "Cow and Chicken" episode, Red Guy himself ends up in jail, and meets the warden — who, as pointed out, looks exactly like him. Sadly, this was the end of the episode, so the gag didn't go any further. There was also the theme song which shows the Red Guy showing off his personas which are separate characters, although this could just be a gag.
    • One episode showed Cow and Chicken moving out of their house and the Red Guy begs them not to go, as he'll no longer have anyone to pull his schemes on. This seems to imply it is in fact the same Red Guy.
  • Crunchy from Dan Vs. Most of the time, he changes jobs because Dan makes him lose his in one way or another.
  • In each installment of The Day Henry Met...?, Henry meets an object or an animal such as a lighthouse or a rooster that has some sort of problem and decides to take an occupation to help them out, i.e. lighthouse keeper or farmer.
  • From Family Guy:
    • Bruce, the effeminate guy with a mustache, is usually holding a job that usually ties with his "bleeding heart liberal sensible" persona. He's been a teacher, a faculty worker, a host for AA, a psychic, a lawyer, etc.
    • Peter Griffin is a downplayed example, where he's had several Cutaway Gags referencing his menagerie of bizarre, out-of-nowhere past jobs such as "providing night-time heat for Lara Flynn Boyle", or, "acting as Sandy Duncan's glass eye". Aside from these jokes, however, Peter tends to hold his main job for several seasons, and whenever they change, they're always addressed logically in the plot: he was a safety inspector at a toy factory for seasons 1 to 3, got laid off and became a fisherman up to season 4 where his boat gets destroyed, then became a shipping clerk at a brewery from there on out.
  • Felix the Cat never has a consistent job throughout the franchise, due in part to the fast and loose continuity and varying settings and timelines of some of the cartoons. In "Felix Turns the Tide", he works for (or lives with) a Deli shop owner, and joins up with the army in the same cartoon. In "Felix in Hollywood", he lives with a starving actor and eventually gets a job as an actor himself. In episodes that star Poindexter like "Felix Babysits", the Professor hires Felix as a babysitter, and in other episodes even hires him as a lab assistant. In "Stone Age Felix", he's briefly seen holding an office job, but in episodes like "Detective Thinking Hat" and "The Invisible Professor", he acts as a private detective. In an episode of Twisted Tales, Felix works as a pizza delivery boy.
  • In the original The Flintstones series, Barney is never shown with a consistent job, though in later specials and series he is often shown working alongside Fred at Mr. Slate's quarry.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Store Wars", Coco takes several jobs at the local mall that end up relating to what the other main characters are doing. It is later revealed that she used the cash to buy a massage chair for Madam Foster's birthday.
  • Mr. Ford on Frisky Dingo. He's been a mental hospital worker, a pet store clerk, gun store clerk, security for underground rabbit fights, polling consultant for Killface's presidential campaign, political analyst for a news show, US Secretary of State, and US President. Even shows up in Archer a few times.
  • Matt Groening's Futurama:
    • Sal the heavily's-accented New New Yorker. At least once, Sal has two different jobs in the same episode and is acknowledged to be the same guy. At the beginning of the episode, he's a truck driver. Later on, he's a construction worker, but he and Fry recognize each other from the truck stop. Considering it's The Future, the creators haven't made up their minds whether there's one Sal who can't hold down a job or a cartload of identical clones. Why, precisely, one would clone a slovenly, ill-mannered customer like Sal is a riddle for the ages.
    • Abner Doubledeal has appeared in three episodes — each time as a Corrupt Corporate Executive bent on manipulating one of the main characters, but also each time in a different field. First he owned a pro wrestling promotion, then he owned the New New York Mets, then he was a TV exec.
    • There's also the Grand Midwife from Kif's homeworld. She's also the Grand Priestess, the Grand Lunch Lady, the Grand Funeral Director, and the Grand Butterfly Curator. When Fry recognized her in her second appearance, she explained that she works five jobs. Each of them grand.
  • Al Swindler of Garfield and Friends has a number of jobs over the course of the series. He usually only changes jobs once in each episode he's in (the main job in which his subpar workmanship during most of the episode puts Jon off his business for a while, and the job that pops up in the last few seconds when he offers his services and they run away screaming), but in a notable exception, he had a series of home repair jobs. During each job, he set up the next job by causing a new problem. Eventually, Jon is exasperated into selling his house for a pittance. Garfield scares out Mr. Swindler by pretending to be a ghost, but he soon returns in ghost hunter gear... In one episode, Garfield says, "Aren't you the same guy in every episode?"
    • In his first appearance Madman Murray was the owner of an electronics store, but in his second appearance he's the owner of a used car lot.
  • While on the subject of Garfield, in Garfield in Paradise, suspiciously the same person who looks suspiciously like Frank Nelson is both a hotel clerk and a car rental agent.
    Nelson-type man: (as the rental agent) Yeeeeeeeeeeeeehs?
    Jon Arbuckle: You look familiar.
    Nelson: I have a brother in the hotel business.
    Garfield: Racket is more like it.
  • A running gag in George and Martha was a creepy komodo dragon named Eton always showing up as an employee of whatever franchise the titular hippos were frequenting. Usually right behind George, freaking him out.
  • In the Gravity Falls first Season 1 finale "Gideon Rises", Gideon taking control of the Mystery Shacks means Soos has to get new jobs from scene-to-scene. First he's a short-order cook at a diner, and then a bus driver. After the episode ends, he resumes being a handyman.
  • Grojband has a recurring character named Barney, who periodically provides plot-related help in an episode related to his job and what the band are doing. His hat always changes to his Job of the Week.
  • Huckleberry Hound: Each cartoon in which he appears has him in a new occupation. His first cartoon had him as a policeman (which he held a couple of more times afterwards), followed by a Western sheriff, a sheepherder, a scientist, and much more.
  • Jellystone!: Shazzan is seen working somewhere different almost every time he appears: handing out free samples at a grocery store, managing tickets at the movie theater, running a falafel stand, and so on.
  • Jorel's Brother: In almost every episode Wonderlay is in, he appears holding a different profession. He's commonly seen as the school janitor, but also has been seen as an assistant for Roberto Perdigoto, a cashier in a fast-food restaurant, extinguishing a fire at a TV show set, an aquatic park employee, a telemarketing assistant, a photographer, a gas station attendant, and many more. In the Season 3 finale, this is finally explained: Wonderlay isn't actually a single individual, but instead there are countless clones of him all around. Apparently, all of the clones are unaware of each other's existence and believe they are the only Wonderlay in existence, as one of them lost his sanity after learning about this.
  • Kaeloo: Depending on the episode, the characters, especially Kaeloo and Mr. Cat, tend to have new jobs if the plot requires them to. One episode even lampshades this; after holding several different jobs through the episode, Kaeloo, as a police officer, arrests Stumpy and Quack Quack for robbing a bank, and then tells them that if they need an attorney for their court hearing, she'll be there to do that for them too.
  • Kim Possible: Mr Barkin seems to be the substitute teacher for every subject, coaches the football team, works part-time at Smarty-Mart, and is leader of a troop of Pixies (a Girl Scout analogue). This is lampshaded in an episode where they meet Mr. Barkin's father who works at a Living History community. The senior Barkin holds every single occupation in the village by himself, including churning butter. In a dress.
  • Jimmy Witchard the violent brain-damaged man from King of the Hill has a different job nearly every time we see him, a concession stand manager, garbage man, janitor, amateur artist, etc.
    • Peggy Hill as well. Originally a substitute Spanish teacher, she later took on other forms of employment such as a newspaper columnist, customer service representative, real estate agent, and so many more.
  • In The Legend of Korra this applies to Bolin. He goes from unspecified gang thug, to pro-bender, to Asami's business assistant, to "mover"(sic) star, to soldier, to police officer, to aide to the president, before leaving that last position for yet another adventure with Korra. His brother Mako points this out, and Bolin recognizes this fact but goes anyway.
    • Ironically, Mako's lack of romantic commitment is what led both Korra and Asami to break up with him, so he is also sort of speaking from experience in a different arena.
  • Yosemite Sam of Looney Tunes fame. Starting out as a Western outlaw, he has since been a pirate, a prison guard, a Hessian, a claimjumper, a Medieval knight, a sheik, a politician, a Roman centurion, a Confederate officer, and many more.
  • In the first few seasons of The Loud House, Bobby Santiago has had many different jobs, including a pizza boy, pool lifeguard, a grocery stock boy, and a security guard at the Royal Woods Mall. "Store Wars with the Casagrandes" reveals this is because the business he works in would get shut down by a bigger business. This eventually comes to an end in "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos", where he's hired to work at the Casagrande mercado with his maternal abuelo, Hector Casagrande. Ever since, he's stayed at this position, and it carries over to the spinoff, The Casagrandes.
  • The title character of Maisy, apparently little girl mouse, nevertheless does everything from being a doctor to flying a plane.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has recurring background character Theo. In his initial appearance (and biggest role), he was a sculptor. Since then, he's showed up passing out fliers for a play, as a roadie for a Justin Bieber knock-off and a bike-rickshaw driver. Word of God says it's intentional. He's still an artist, just a Starving Artist, and needs additional work to supplement his income.
  • Literally everyone on The Mr. Men Show, most notably Little Miss Whoops, who can't keep a job because she's just so bad at everything she does, despite always claiming to be "a trained professional".
    • One episode revealed that the Mr. Men and Little Misses invoke this trope deliberately, getting new jobs every Tuesday.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Bulk Biceps' first seen job, early in season 5, is as a masseur at the Ponyville Spa. But in season 6, he's shown teaching foals how to weight-lift, and early in season 7, he's shown selling cinnamon nuts out of cart. It turns out he "wears many hats" and is holding down multiple jobs at once.
  • The old guy in glasses from Ned's Newt. Began as a pet store owner (he was actually the guy who sold Newton to Ned in the first place), then continued to pop up in various roles. He even pops up at the beginning of one episode ("Summer Gone, Summer Not") to point this out.
  • In Oggy and the Cockroaches, Oggy's neighbour, Bob, is often seen working different jobs, including a night watchman in a supermarket, a police officer and a doctor.
  • On Peg + Cat, Ramone seems to regularly change from one job to another.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: After Officer X is fired from animal control, he seems to get a new temporary job every time he appears, pretty much always in the right place to cause the Penguins problems.
  • Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig doing every random job is a running joke. One episode even lampshades this, with the Queen giving her the Award for Industry for having so many jobs and the Narrator listing just a few of Miss Rabbit's many, many jobs.
  • Jeremy always has a job nearby what's going on in Phineas and Ferb, usually at a concession stand chain in the series.
  • Porky Pig has had a variety of different jobs throughout his shorts including a farmer, carpenter, pilot, doctor, restaurant owner, bakery owner, busboy, actor, mover, conductor, bank teller, hotel manager, sports broadcaster, judge, zoo keeper, cop, etc.
  • Santa Claus in Pucca. He's had A Day in the Limelight episode or two, but he's mostly there to be whatever strange job is needed, from ticket taker, to "guy in a frog costume." Since he only works his well-known job one day a year, he seems to have a lot of hobbies and side jobs.
  • Razzberry Jazzberry Jam: Mike was a reporter for a radio station in his first few appearances. Then he was a radio DJ. Then he was the host of “Mike Tonight”, an apparently-very-famous TV show. Then in the very next episode he was back to being a DJ.
  • In the Slimer! segments of The Real Ghostbusters, Slimer sometimes ran afoul of a burly woman named Mrs. Stone, who has a different job every time she shows up. She's been a nurse, a lifeguard, a school guard, owner of an obedience school, and a judge at a dog show.
  • Rocko's Modern Life
    • Chuck and Leon, better recognized as The Chameleon Brothers. They're always on the hip end of any career, often as entrepreneurs or artists, and have an extremely fake Scandinavian accent. Their Funny Animal species is a dead giveaway to their ever-changing role.
    • One main character, Filburt, spent a few episodes with different jobs before being promoted to a main major character. He has held at least nine different ones during the course of the series.
    • Dr. Hutchison held a number of jobs in various medical fields before being promoted; upon meeting Dr. Hutchison, Rocko would invariably say, "Dr. Hutchison? I thought you were a [dentist/pharmacist/whatever job she had last]", to which she'd respond with laughter and a pun relating to the previous job: "I couldn't handle looking down in the mouth anymore!" One time, Rocko just said all the jobs at once, to which Hutchison replied, "Yeah... it's been a crazy year."
    • In the 20 years between the series and Static Cling, Nosey went from a talk show host to a news reporter.
  • The first two seasons of Rugrats featured a pair of teenagers named Larry and Steve who would be working a job of some sort only to have the babies cause them to mess it up. Of course, the fact that they kept messing up their jobs no doubt explains why they kept changing them.
  • With a large cast, The Simpsons has a sizable subset in this role, each for a different kind of job.
    • Troy McClure is an extremely prolific B-Movie actor who'll host whatever informational video advances the plot.
    • Lindsey Naegle is a single successful businesswoman/TV executive. The season 13 episode "Blame It On Lisa" lampshaded this when Marge asks Lindsay why she keeps changing jobs. Lindsay's answer: she's a sexual predator.
    • The very point of the character Gil is to be perpetually dangling by a thread at his current job, whatever it may be — he was introduced as in real estate, another had him working at a shoe store, another was at a car lot, and another had him as a department store Santa.
    • Although Lionel Hutz spent most of his appearance as an incompetent Amoral Attorney, he's suddenly a babysitter in "Marge on the Lam", tries to muscle his ways into being Milhouse's acting agent in "Radioactive Man" (also mentioning himself as an unauthorized biographer and drug "keeper-away-er), and is a Shady Real Estate Agent in "Realty Bites". One gets the impression the writers wanted to expand his role to other disreputable jobs, but the death of Phil Hartman pushed Hutz into Actor Existence Limbo.
    • Captain McCallister has held a lot of nautical jobs (despite not being a licensed captain), as well as owning and operating an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant (the latter of which has been used more often in later episodes).
    • Squeaky Voiced Teen (whose name was established as Mitch Peterson early on, then seemingly forgotten by the writers, and later established again as Jeremy Freedman) either works at Krusty Burger or works as a ticket taker, concession stand clerk, or usher at the Aztec Movie Theater (or the Googleplex). Some episodes have him working at an ice cream parlor called Phineas Q. Butterfat's.
    • A mustached Charles Bronson-sound-alike is a customer service worker. Sideshow Bob calls him "Raphael" in one episode, but that name has never been used since. The following exchange occurred in "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" with Homer in Sarcastic Man's taxi:
      Sarcastic Man: So, what do you do for a living?
      Homer: Oh, you know, I'm a guy at a place. How'd you get such a crappy job? You a convict or a junkie?
      Sarcastic Man: Little of both.
    • "Bart Sells His Soul" features two mustached "Sarcastic Middle-Aged Men". One working as a bug exterminator at Milhouse's place, the other driving a street cleaner car, running over Bart's car, then driving it down a subway station staircase.
    • That Jerk Who Says "Yeeehs?" is an homage to Frank Nelson, above.
    • Homer's occasional propensity for this was actually a bone of contention in the writer's room early on, as, realistically, he wouldn't be able to take extended time off to manage a country singer or conduct a monorail while maintaining his job at the power plant. Naturally, Rule of Funny usually won out.
  • Spaced Out has Guy, who turns up in every job on the space station besides its custodian, school teacher and supply shuttle pilot. His official job description is being the station's "Everything" (it's occasionally implied that he is actually a robot). Especially curious, considering that the station is the size of a large town and has fully stocked amenities (all run by Guy) despite their being a total of eight other residents.
  • Mr. Smiley from Steven Universe has been an actor/R&B singer, stand-up comedian, and seems to have worked at the Big Donut in the past. In the present, he's mostly seen working at Funland, where he apparently operates every ride, as well as the arcade, and has also appeared as a commentator for various events.
  • In Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City of the original 1980s incarnation, the studio Strawberry Shortcake and Purple Pieman’s baking competition occurs at is managed by a singular employee: the vice president of the theater, Coco Nutwork. Throughout the entire special he has to run back and forth doing every single job, cameras, lighting, hosting, with dedicated costumes and voices for each job. Lightly deconstructed, as the kmmense workload makes Coco Nutwork incredibly stressed out, to the point where he basically begs Strawberry to let him move to Strawberryland so he can finally retire.
  • This is used to great comic effect in "Strawberry's Big Journey" from the 2003 version of Strawberry Shortcake. When the group meets Banana Candy, she is working as a mechanic. They ask if there's somewhere that they can get food and she directs them to a local cafe, and offers them a taxi... which turns out to be driven by her. When they get to the cafe, Banana Candy is making the meal, leading them to wonder just how the car is going to get fixed.
    Banana Candy: Small towns like this, you need a few jobs to make ends meet.
  • DoorMouse from Team Umizoomi. He can go from guarding doors to guarding bridges to even capturing sharks. So far he's doing a good job at it.
  • Quint, a recurring human character from Timon & Pumbaa, who has a new profession in every episode he's in. In addition, the title matches his name (Culinary Quint, Counterfeiter Quint, and so on). There were identical twin Quints in one episode — a case of Inexplicably Identical Individuals.
  • On Total DramaRama, MacArthur from The Ridonculous Race is always seen working different jobs in this series, including a juice shop employee, a zookeeper, an ice cream truck driver, and a chiropractor, among the others.
  • Inspector Willoughby, in the Walter Lantz cartoon shorts, until he became—well—an inspector.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs, New Jobs As The Plot Demands


Stumpy's Job(s)

Stumpy explains to Kaeloo that he takes on several jobs, and is pushed into taking a new one.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / NewJobAsThePlotDemands

Media sources: