An index of tropes dealing with a character's job or work environment.
Note: If a job is related to one of the listed sub-categories, list it on that index instead of here.
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- Authority Tropes: Bosses, executives, managers, supervisors, and anyone else in a leadership position who's in charge of ordering subordinate employees around.
- Big Trope Hunting: Professional hunters who make their living off of chasing down animals or people to capture them (dead or alive), often for monetary rewards or other personal benefits.
- Bushido Index: Samurai, the feudal warrior-nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan.
- Circus Index: Entertainers who perform as part of circus troupes.
- Class Relations Index: People's ranking in the socioeconomic hierarchy depends on how much income they make from their respective jobs and on how much status those jobs command.
- Clown Tropes: Those goofy circus performers who wear garish clothes and makeup.
- Cops and Detectives: Law enforcement / police officers and professional crime investigators.
- Countryside Index: Includes some tropes about farmers and agricultural laborers.
- The Courtroom Index: Judges and lawyers whose job is to handle legal affairs in the criminal justice system.
- Con Man: Confidence tricksters (or con artists/men/women) are professional fraudsters and white-collar criminals who fool and scam people out of their money.
- Criminals: Career crooks who make a living by breaking the law in hopes of illegally acquiring money.
- Doctor Index: Physicians, nurses, (para)medics, and other medical personnel one can find in any clinic or hospital.
- Eating Establishments: Restaurant staff, including the owners/managers and cooks, waiters, etc. who serve up food for a living.
- Espionage Tropes: Professional spies, whose jobs revolve around obtaining confidential information and engaging in other kinds of shady, secretive activities. They often work as covert agents or informants for some sort of (usually government-affiliated) organization, such as a civilian/military/police intelligence agency.
- Fashion and Modeling Tropes: People who make a living making and/or showcasing fashion.
- Grocery Store Index: Retail workers who are employed at grocery stores, selling food and other household products.
- Hired Guns: Mercenaries, security guards, and other private contractors whose jobs typically revolve around being hired to carry weapons and engage in various (il)legal, risky, or violent actions on behalf of their clients, especially to attack or protect people and their property.
- Hocus Tropus: Practitioners of fake magic tricks who perform for an audience.
- Hotel Tropes: Some people are employed at hotels, motels, inns, and other temporary lodging facilities for travelers.
- I Need an Index by Monday: White-collar professionals working in a typical office setting.
- Index of Industry: Laborers who work in construction or manufacturing, often in some kind of factory or other industrial facility.
- Index of Pupils and Protégés: Students and apprentices who are undergoing education or training in some sort of field.
- Mail and Delivery Tropes: Postal services and delivery-people who transport goods and communiques.
- Make My Index Live!: Mad scientists who engage in morally dubious experiments, less for the sake of science and more to satisfy their egotistical curiosities.
- Master of the Index: These people are very good at whatever they do for a living, if not some of the best experts in their given field.
- Mentor Index: Experienced masters who train apprentices on how to do something.
- Military and Warfare Tropes: Soldiers and warriors who are members of some sort of armed forces, whose job is to fight wars under their leaders' command.
- Movie-Making Index: Cast and crew members involved in film or television production.
- Music Tropes: Singers, instrumentalists, composers, and other musicians.
- News Tropes: Journalists, reporters, anchors, columnists and other people whose job is to write about or discuss current events for the news media.
- Nightlife Index: Includes tropes about bartenders who serve alcohol at bars, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants.
- The Oldest Profession: Prostitutes, strippers, and other sex workers who sell their bodies for satisfying others' sexual pleasures.
- Organized Crime Tropes: Gangsters and mobsters who work for criminal groups that behave like illegal businesses, running all kinds of rackets and trading in the Black Market for profit.
- Pirate Tropes: Outlaws whose way of living is based around piracy (whether in the seas, skies or space), through hijacking and robbing merchant vessels that pass by.
- Politics Tropes: Politicians, bureaucrats, and other government officials who are responsible for running political affairs of the state.
- Poverty Tropes: Poor people either have very low-paying jobs or are currently unemployed from any (full- or part-time) job.
- Religion Tropes: Includes multiple tropes about priests and other clergy members who are devoted full-time to preaching their religious beliefs to other people.
- Rich People: They obviously have very well-paying jobs, often through holding a high-ranking position in their company or organization.
- Royalty and Nobility Tropes: Monarchs and other aristocrats who directly inherit titles of political authority through legally enshrined nepotism.
- Schoolteachers: Educators who teach school curriculum to students in a classroom.
- Servant Tropes: Laborers whose job is to help assist their employer by doing some sort of unglamorous housework for them.
- Show Business: Careers in the entertainment and media industry.
- Sir Index of Tropes: Knights, the feudal warrior-nobility of medieval and early modern Europe.
- A Slave to the Index: When they were never given a free choice about being forced to serve their masters, often for little or no reward.
- Sports Tropes: Professional athletes who compete in sporting contests and games.
- Steal This Index: Professional thieves whose "income" is derived entirely from forcibly seizing other people's money or property.
- These Tropes Have Been Promoted: Moving up a rank in the hierarchy of one's profession.
- This Index Knows What It's Talking About: These people are skilled experts in their given field.
- Tropes at Sea: Includes various tropes about maritime occupations, such as civilian sailors employed to work on private merchant ships, naval personnel conducting military operations at sea, or outlaw pirates who hijack and rob ships for a living.
- Tropes for Sale: Merchants, salesmen, and other workers whose job is to directly sell consumer products or services to costumers; often in some sort of marketplace, retail store, or shopping center.
- Tropes on Science and Unscience: Scholars and scientists who conduct research and experiments for the pursuit of furthering knowledge in some sort of academic field, and who often teach in a university.
- Wrestling Tropes: Professional/sport wrestlers who grapple in the ring.
Characters and their jobs
- Adaptational Job Change: An adaptation changes a character's occupation.
- Apathetic Clerk: Clerk or cashier who is ambivalent towards their job and everything that goes on around them.
- Animal Occupation Stereotypes: Jobs that certain animals are most likely to be portrayed as working in.
- Angry Chef: A hothead who bosses around their kitchen staff.
- Arms Dealer: A merchant who sells weapons, acquired through (il)legal means.
- Asian Storeowner: An (East or South) Asian immigrant who works as a shopkeeper.
- Bad Boss: They won't give any shits about their employees' safety and welfare and may indulge in cruel methods to keep them in line.
- The Barber: Someone who trims hair for a living.
- The Bartender: Someone who serves alcohol at a bar, pub, nightclub, or restaurant.
- The Blacksmith: Someone who builds metallic objects for a living.
- Bounty Hunter: A private contractor who is hired by the legal authorities to help capture (or kill) fugitive criminals.
- Call to Agriculture: Someone in an unrelated career field decides to take up farming later in life.
- Caring Gardener
- Chatty Hairdresser
- Chinese Laborer: Chinese immigrants hired to work in railroad construction or other menial labor jobs in the American Old West.
- Chinese Launderer: Chinese immigrants working in laundromats.
- Construction Catcalls: Workmen yell sexually aggressive comments at passing women.
- The Coroner: A forensic expert whose job is to examine dead bodies, and to determine their identities and causes of death.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: A ruthlessly greedy businessperson who runs a major corporation, doing evil and unscrupulous acts for the sake of profit.
- Corrupt Politician: A dishonest government official who abuses their political authority for personal gain.
- Courier: A mercantile message/cargo delivery person.
- Cranky Landlord: They have little patience for tenants who annoy them or are slow with paying rent.
- Creepy Gas-Station Attendant
- Creepy Gym Coach
- Creepy Mortician: Morticians are portrayed as being disturbing or strange.
- Crooked Contractor
- Da Editor: The person who runs the newspaper, or at least controlling what gets printed and published.
- Deranged Park Ranger: A forest ranger who's crazy, possibly to the point of violent psychosis.
- Disposable Intern: An intern or newbie is ordered to do highly risky or undesirable work.
- Dreadful Musician: A musician who is terrible at singing or playing musical instruments.
- The Driver: A personal chauffeur who drives their client from Point A to Point B.
- Drop-In Landlord: A friendly or comedic landlord who's always showing up at the main characters' apartment to say hi.
- Eccentric Artist: An artist whose strange quirks are reflected in their works.
- Eccentric Exterminator: A pest exterminator who takes their job very seriously.
- Eccentric Fashion Designer: A fashion designer with a quirky streak.
- Ethnic Menial Labor: Hiring poor immigrants to work in cheap labor jobs.
- Evil Chef: A chef who happens to be a villain.
- Evil Librarians
- The Executioner: Someone whose job is to execute a death sentence, killing prisoners convicted of capital crimes.
- Expert Consultant: A professional brought in for their expertise or special skills.
- Fanservice Model
- Fantastical Social Services: Mundane public service jobs in otherworldly settings.
- Fashion Designer: Someone who creates new clothing for the latest fashion trends.
- Flair Bartending: Someone who juggles bottles and entertains patrons while serving alcohol.
- Following in Their Rescuer's Footsteps
- Foreign Correspondent: A journalist who is reporting in another country besides their own.
- Friendly Shopkeeper: A shopkeeper who treats their customers especially well, and always provides goods and services at a reasonable price.
- Gaucho: A South American cowboy.
- Ghostwriter: Hired to write under someone else's name.
- Grease Monkey: Mechanic not just for cars but things as big as warships.
- Great White Hunter: Somone who kills animals for the fame and glory.
- Hard Truckin': Truckers and similar.
- Hillbilly Moonshiner: Someone who illegally brews some unlicensed liquor.
- Honest Corporate Executive: A businessperson who is decent and honest and refuses to do anything illegal or unethical with their company.
- Hunter of Monsters: Someone who specializes in hunting down (usually evil and/or inhuman) supernatural beings and creatures, whether to protect humanity or simply for personal gain.
- Immoral Journalist: A dishonest reporter who has no problems with bending the facts to get a sensational (fake) news piece.
- Inexperienced Killer: A hitman who's never really killed anyone before.
- Inherently Attractive Profession: A job has characteristics associated with it that people find attractive.
- Innocent Flower Girl
- The Intern: A trainee recruited to do some grunt work as the first step in their career, who may or may not be paid a salary.
- Intrepid Reporter: A journalist who actively seeks out interesting news stories, even going on risky adventures to do so.
- Jobless Parent Drama: A family struggles because a parent is unemployed.
- Mad Artist: An evil and insane artist who engages in grotesque and sociopathic things for the sake of their art.
- Mad Scientist: An insane scientist who conducts bizarre experiments.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Despite their showmanship, they are in fact capable of real magic.
- Majority-Share Dictator: Someone who owns just barely more than half of a company's stock wields a disproportionate amount of power.
- Masked Luchador: A Mexican professional wrestler.
- Mean Boss: A boss who isn't very nice to their employees.
- Morally Bankrupt Banker: A ruthlessly greedy financier.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Fiction writers create characters who are also writers.
- Mighty Lumberjack: A big, burly logger.
- Native Guide: A local person who assists travelers with navigating the region they live in.
- Nemesis as Customer: A character's job requires them to serve someone they hate.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: The boss is a total moron.
- Private Intelligence Agency: A private company that's contracted to provide intelligence services or specialists for consulations.
- Private Military Contractors: Mercenary soldiers who are not official members of a government's armed forces; instead either being employed by a private corporation, or working as freelance guns-for-hire who will fight for any client that pays them.
- Professional Gambler: Someone who regularly takes great risks to earn more money.
- Professional Killer: Someone whose job is to murder other people in exchange for a paycheck.
- Psycho for Hire: A hired thug who enjoys getting paid to do bad things to other people.
- Psycho Psychologist: A psychologist who isn't a model example of sanity himself.
- Railroad Employee Roundhouse
- The Real Spoofbusters: An expy of the Ghostbusters, being a team of professionals who make a living by dealing with paranormal threats.
- Rom Com Job
- Sane Boss, Psycho Henchmen: A relatively sane villain takes command of a bunch of nutjobs.
- Scary Librarian: You better stay quiet inside their library, and turn in all your rented books on time, or else.
- Sensitive Artist: An artist who's quite moody and emotional.
- Sequential Artist: Comic illustrators.
- Shoe Shine, Mister?
- The Shrink: A psychiatrist or psychotherapist who provides mental health services.
- Single-Issue Landlord
- Sleazy Politician
- Smooth-Talking Talent Agent
- Snake Oil Salesman: A Con Man who sells shoddy products of very dubious quality to gullible people.
- Spies Are Despicable: Spies are automatically seen as liars, cowards, and untrustworthy.
- Stage Magician: An illusionist who performs "magic tricks" for an audience.
- Starving Artist: An artist who has trouble with profiting from their works.
- Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Because being a superhero is usually an unpaid volunteer activity, they often have another actual career in order to pay their bills. In some cases though, they might actually be paid for their superhero work.
- Straw Critic: Professional media critics being stereotyped as perfectionist and unpleasable.
- Sweet Baker: Confectioners are nice people.
- Tagalong Reporter: A journalist who joins in on the hero's adventures to report them.
- Team Chef: A member of a group who is skilled at cooking.
- Tech Bro: A technology industry professional, executive or founder with a Frat Bro personality.
- Terrible Artist: An artist whose illustrations would fail to impress a kindergartner.
- There Are No Good Executives: All wealthy entrepreneurs are nothing but amorally greedy, capitalist robber-barons.
- Traveling Salesman: A merchant who visits distant locations to sell their products to clients.
- Ultimate Blacksmith
- Unstoppable Mailman: A postal worker will cross every single obstacle to deliver mail packages to their destinations.
- The Vicar
- The Watchmaker: Horologist the one who has to do the minute repair and construction work for clocks and mechanical watches.
- Western Union Man: The character running the telegraph system in the American Wild West.
- White Collar Worker: The average employee of any modern office facility.
- Wrestling Managers Are Heels
- Yuppie: Members of the Baby Boomer generation who were consumption and status-obsessed "young urban professionals" during The '80s.
Other work-related tropes
- Bad Job, Worse Uniform: A crappy job with poor pay forces you to wear a humiliating costume.
- Ballad of a Sex Worker: A song about a prostitute or some other sex-related profession.
- Burger Fool: Someone has to work for minimum wage at a fast food restaurant.
- Career-Revealing Trait
- Crossing the Burnt Bridge
- Dead End Job: A position that keeps getting filled by a new character.
- Defeat Means Menial Labor: Where a villain, having been defeated, is reduced to menial labor.
- Depending Upon the Undependable: People get hired or promoted even though everyone knows (or should know) how incompetent they are.
- Dumb, but Diligent
- Eternal Employee: Someone who's seemingly working their job all day long.
- Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Poor and unemployed people will have to take any job that will make their ends meet.
- Family Business: Any job that involves several generations of the family as laborers or management.
- Found Family via Work: A Family of Choice that forms through work.
- Goofy Suit
- Happiness in Minimum Wage: A worker is content with being paid minimum wage.
- Horrible Hollywood: The media and entertainment industry is full of morally corrupt people.
- Hospital Hottie: Doctors, medics, or nurses who are very attractive.
- Hot Men at Work: Male laborers who are very handsome.
- The Inspector Is Coming
- Jaded Professional: Someone has turned very cynical because of everything they've experienced during their career.
- Job Mindset Inertia
- Job Song: A musical number about working.
- Muse Abuse
- New Job as the Plot Demands: A character's job changes depending on what is appropriate for the current episode's plot.
- Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: It isn't explicitly revealed what a person's occupation is.
- Office Romance: Coworkers falling in love.
- Out of Job, into the Plot: The character lost/abandoned their jobs prior to the story.
- Phony Veteran: Someone who lies about or exaggerates their claims of military service.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A character has a specific job, but is never seen or otherwise indicated doing anything that has to do with their profession.
- Playing Games at Work: Slackers who goof off to have fun while on the clock.
- Plumber's Crack
- Post-Injury Desk Job: After getting seriously injured out in the field, they're relegated to handling documents and paperwork in an office.
- Pursue the Dream Job: Someone really wants to obtain their own ideal career.
- The Queen Will Be Watching
- Really Moves Around: Someone constantly relocates from place to place, usually to follow wherever their current job takes them.
- Retirony: A character with a dangerous job ends up dying not long before they were supposed to peacefully retire.
- Sent Off to Work for Relatives
- Service Sector Stereotypes: Customer service jobs can be very tedious at best, humiliating at worst.
- Sex at Work: Workers have sex at a place where they're employed.
- The Simple Life is Simple
- A Side Order of Romance: Someone meets his love interest while she is on the job as a waitress.
- Soul-Crushing Desk Job: An awfully boring white-collar job at a Standard Office Setting.
- Soul-Sucking Retail Job: An awfully tedious blue-collar job at a retail store or supermarket.
- Strike Episode: Dissatisfied employees form a labor union and refuse to work in protest of how their bosses treat them.
- Successful Sibling Syndrome
- Ultimate Job Security: An employee who never gets fired even though realistically their actions would've gotten them booted out a long time ago.
- Under Strange Management: When the workplace is being run by unconventional people.
- Vampire Doctor: Someone whose Horror Hunger makes their chosen profession difficult.
- Waiting for a Break
- Weird Trade Union: Labor unions for the most unexpected professions.
- Why We Need Garbagemen: Sanitation workers either can't or won't do their job, resulting in garbage accumulating.
- The Wicked Stage
- Workaholic: a person addicted to working and getting everything perfect in their job, even if it destroys their health and family.
- Working Class Anthem: The "This Job Sucks" song.
- Wrong Line of Work: When someone gets a job they are clearly unsuited for.