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Strike Episode

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"Krusty Krab is unfair! Mr. Krabs is in there! Standing at the concession! Plotting his oppression!"

Quagmire: What do we want?
Other Pilots: FAIR WAGES!
Quagmire: When do we want it?

This is an episode where a character or group of characters, feeling overworked, underpaid or underappreciated, decides to take action against his bosses and go on strike. Common elements of a strike, such as picket lines with sign-carrying workers, tense negotiations by union bosses, the company hiring "goons" or using Dirty Cops to break the strike with billy clubs, and "scabs" (replacement workers) may ensue.

The Strike may be a result of a Weird Trade Union if examples come from people who usually wouldn't strike.

It should be noted this has nothing to do with bowling or baseball, or episodes about TV Strikes, although they may overlap if they occur around the same time.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Little Witch Academia (2017) has an episode where the fairies that work at Luna Nova go on strike demanding for more magic allowance. Without their contributions, the castle's technology becomes unusable to the students and teachers. Akko tries to mediate between the school and the union, but quickly winds up sympathizing with the strikers more than the school and joins them.
  • Shounen Hollywood had its members strike out towards the end of the second season in reaction to former member Shima Hayamizu offering to reform and advertise for the group in exchange for destroying Hollywood Tokyo. For at least two episodes, they hole themselves up in the theater and barricade the doors to prevent anyone from coming inside, while they decide for themselves what they want to do with the group moving forward. In the end, it turns out that Shima changes his mind about the deal because of how passionate they were.

     Comic Strips 
  • One Peanuts storyline has the teachers go on strike, which the kids don't seem to mind since they don't have to go to school, but Linus is worried about his favorite teacher, Miss Othmar. While watching the teachers picket one day, Linus notices that Miss Othmar collapse from exhaustion, and quickly runs to her aid. The story ended up making the local paper. Eventually Lucy wakes Linus up one morning, telling him that the strike is over and they have to go back to school. Linus notes that if anything, it'll be good to see Miss Othmar again, only for Lucy to then inform him that she got fired.

    Fan Works 

  • Isaac Asimov's "Strikebreaker": The story's setting is an airless planetoid, named Elsevere. The residents must dig into the rock and recycle everything, including human waste. Naturally someone has to operate the machinery that recycles the waste and that job falls upon the Ragusnik family. Their family is stigmatized by everybody and made untouchable. The current Ragusnik tries to go on strike, to break the caste system that makes the rest of the world refuse to even talk with him.
  • A B-Plot in the Discworld novel The Fifth Elephant concerns Sergeant Colon, while the higher-ranking (and more competent) members of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch are away on business, being promoted to captain and running the Watch into the ground. The rest of the Watch forms a Watchman's Guild and goes on strike, complete with picket lines, chanted slogans, and huddling around fires in trash bins. As a result, the criminals in the Wretched Hive... keep their heads down, because everyone knows that Commander Vimes doesn't like being dragged off to diplomatic functions, and when he gets back he's going to be pissed.
  • In the The Railway Series story, "Trouble in the Shed", Gordon, James, and Henry go on strike and refuse to fetch their own coaches, having been humiliated in the previous chapters "Henry and the Elephant" and "Tenders and Turntables". With Thomas running his branch line and Edward having to tackle the Tender Engines' work on his own, Sir Topham Hatt is inspired to get another tank engine, in the form of Percy. After being punished for going on strike, the Tender Engines soon regret their decision and promise to work hard again in the next chapter, "Percy Runs Away". This story was also adapted into an episode of the first season of the Animated Adaptation, Thomas & Friends.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks:
  • In the 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Dick Strikes Out," Dick comes up with the idea of the teachers going on strike to protest changes that are being made by the new chancellor, but then he doesn't join the strike himself. Hilariously, Dick believes that he personally invented the concept of a strike and doesn't realize that It's Been Done.
    Dick: Harry, what you've just said, it's given me a brilliant idea. This is crazy, but bear with me. What if the workers didn't show up for work one day?
    Harry: Yes... maybe on a Sunday.
    Dick: No, not on a Sunday. On a regular workday. What if these workers said they wouldn't come back until their — well, let's call them "demands" — were met?
  • All in the Family: In at least one episode, Archie's union goes on strike.
  • Babylon 5: The A-plot of season one's "By Any Means Necessary" revolves around a major labor dispute with B5's dockworkers' union following a major accident. Commander Sinclair is sympathetic but is forced into a confrontation by the Senate's strikebreaker, who makes a token attempt at negotiating an end (read: threatening the strikers to back down) before invoking the Rush Act, which commands Sinclair to end it "by any means necessary". Sinclair uses this authority to give in to the strikers' demands, remarking to the Senate's man, "You should never hand someone a gun unless you're sure where they'll point it."
  • Boy Meets World had an episode where Corey and Shawn go on strike after being given a test when they were promised not to be tested on the material (appropriately enough, The Grapes of Wrath). To the teacher's credit, he did admit it was clear the learned a lot from the book.
  • Defied on an episode of Corner Gas, wherein the policemen of Dog River decide to do a "work-to-rule" strike, and tell so to the town mayor. The mayor just brings out the rulebook. They decide it's not worth the hassle.
  • Duck Dynasty: The employees of Duck Commander, unhappy with the changes that Willie Robertson sought to impose (such as no longer using the meeting room as a lunch area), go on strike. It comes to an end by the end of the episode when Phil and Mrs. K Robertsons intervene to try to get Willie and his brother Jase to work out their differences.
  • Zig-zagged in a story arc on ER involving the nursing staff. Carol came up with a new scheduling system in an effort to avoid having to fire two of the nurses, but resulted in a situation where they would now be working more hours for less money. In protest, the nurses all called out sick (by law, nurses are not allowed to go on strike), leaving Carol the only nurse at County General.
  • The Frasier episode "Sleeping with the Enemy" involves the radio crew going on strike after they don't get their annual raise.
  • Life with Derek: The B-plot of "Grade a Cheater" involves the three younger siblings of Derek and Casey- Edwin, Lizzie and Marti- protesting against doing chores until they get paid more allowance for all the work they do.
  • Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung:
    • In Episode 6, after the female historians discover the corruption involved in the pay system for government employees, Hae-ryung writes a petition to ban the hiring of clerks to collect officials' pay for them. This calls down the wrath of all the clerks in the government, who refuse to work until the Office of Royal Decrees issues an apology. The strike is eventually resolved by Hae-ryung and Min meeting with the head clerks and Min threatening to reveal their corruption. This strike is portrayed very negatively compared to...
    • In Episode 11, after the king tries to exercise more control over the historians (and imprisons Goo Hae-ryung), they refuse to work, with even The Stoic Min going along with their fake Potty Emergency. Eventually the historians win and maintain their independence after Min challenges the king to personally kill him if he won't rescind the order.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "Bar Association" has Rom unionize the other workers at Quark's bar, demanding better pay and working conditions, which attracts unpleasant attention from the anti-union Ferengi authorities.
  • The first season finale of Superstore has the Cloud 9 employees go on strike to protest Glenn's firing and the store's lax medical compensation. (These are related. Glenn was fired after he suspended Cheyenne with pay in a thinly veiled attempt to give her the maternity leave she was entitled to.) The strike gets resolved in the second season premiere with no real change.
  • Scrubs: The nurses try to go on strike for better working conditions and a pay raise. However, Dr. Kelso points out that their union contract forbids them from striking. So the nurses start to create slowdown of their paperwork that when Dr. Kelson returns later he sees everyone moving slowly. However, this only applies to the paperwork, the patients still receive their full care.

  • Taxi: The cabbies go on strike to protest working conditions.
  • 21 Jump Street: In the "Blu Flu" episode, the whole cast of police officers is on a strike, sans Captain Fuller, as Police Captains apparently are considered "administrative personnel" and as such have no right to be unionized. Hanson even is an active participant of his trade union, and as such takes part in official negotiations between the trade union and the municipality.

  • Red Dwarf Smegazine: The strip "Mutinous Pursuits" features the skutters going on strike because they can't stand Rimmer's behaviour. The skutters are eventually convinced to call off their strike on the condition that Rimmer is turned off every Sunday. It is then revealed however that the strike was called in the first place so that Holly could rig the game of Trivia Pursuit that they were playing.

  • The opening lines of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" has an unemployed man named Tommy facing tough times after he loses his job at the docks when the union went on strike, and had to pawn his guitar for extra money, while his girlfriend Gina becomes the breadwinner and has to work overtime at the diner to make ends meet.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • In Episode 4232, a group of sentient vegetables go on strike when the monsters of Sesame Street refuse to eat vegetables. It takes the monsters eating vegetables to get them to stay.
    • In Episode 5011, a group of sentient fruit go on strike when Mr. Johnson, Elmo, and Big Bird order foods without fruit at Hooper's Store. When Zoe finds out, she sings a song about how much she loves bananas to get the banana to stay, and this gives Alan, Elmo, and Big Bird the idea to sing similar songs to the other fruits.

  • In The Men from the Ministry after tea and coffee drinking in the Ministry is completely forbidden by Sir Gregory, all of the civil servants go on a strike to get tea breaks back. It takes three weeks for anyone to notice anything.

    Web Comics 
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: King Eric's Prime Minister refuses to sign off on Eric marrying halfling Clover Figherlight, under the rationale that such a union brought no political or financial gain to the kingdom (since all the halflings in the region were already citizens of Drostardy). Without his blessing, Eric wouldn't be able to get someone to perform the official ceremony. The halfling community, upon learning of this, went on a kingdom-wide strike in protest. Hit with how much Drostardy depended on halflings, the minister suddenly and enthusiastically encouraged Eric and Clover's marriage.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer features a strike by the ISIS agency support staff. A good deal of the humor dealt with the fact that they work for a secret spy agency and cannot name the reason they are striking in the picket line. The locals get confused as to why they are protesting the dry cleaning company that serves as their front.
  • In the Count Duckula episode, "Restoration Comedy", Igor and Nanny go on strike when Duckula hires Mr. Roberto, an interior decorator, to redecorate Castle Duckula in a less dreary fashion. During this strike, Dr. Von Goosewing shows up disguised as a maid in an attempt to kill Duckula. The strike ends when Mr. Roberto quits after finding out that Duckula is a vampire in the hall of mirrors he built, despite Duckula trying to tell him that he's a relatively harmless Vegetarian Vampire.
  • An episode of Daria involved the teachers going on strike when Ms. Li thought that offering coffee flavoring in the teacher’s lounge was a reasonable substitute in place of raises. Both Trent and Jane end up helping out with the strike with Trent working on a strike song with Mr. O’Neil and Jane using her artistic expertise to make protest signs. Daria meanwhile gets recruited as a scab when the substitute English teacher gets fired when Helen finds out he got handsy with Quinn’s friend, Tiffany. Daria is initially reluctant to do so until she realizes she can use this as a chance to embarrass Quinn.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Will Work for Ed", Eddy strikes on Ed's behalf when Rolf keeps deducting his pay while he's his "nincompoop".
  • Futurama: Bender becomes a scab at a bending plant in "Bendless Love".
  • In the Hey Arnold! episode, "Teacher's Strike", the teachers of Arnold's school go on strike because of inadequate funding. At first, Arnold and his friends are on cloud nine, but they start running into the teachers doing part-time jobs, and find out that every lost school day will be taken from their summer vacation.
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Chore and Peace", Lincoln figures that he's got a raw deal when his chore is taking out the trash all by himself, which is a herculean task when living with ten sisters (one of them being a baby) as well as a dog, a cat, a bird, and a toilet-trained hamster. He decides to go on strike until one of his sisters agrees to trade chores with him, but all this does is inspire his sisters to go on strike in response, and the trash accumulates. It gets to the point where the garbage in his second-youngest sister Lisa becomes sentient. The episode ends with the garbage being taken out and the strikes ending, but Lincoln finds out the garbage workers are on strike for more money, and now he and his sisters are striking to get pay for their chores.
  • In The Proud Family, due to the small size of their allowances, Penny convinces the kids to go on strike and not do chores. They all get kicked out, and they all eventually return to their parents and negotiate.
  • On one episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Stimpy walks out after the Sidekicks Union calls a strike. Ren tries to replace him with scab sidekicks.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Angelica's Last Stand", Angelica opens a lemonade stand, and Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil convince her to hire them as her helpers. When Angelica refuses to share the money she makes with the babies, Susie convinces the babies to go on strike. Angelica tries to handle her lemonade stand on her own, but without the babies' help, it goes out of business.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the famous episode "Last Exit to Springfield", Homer becomes the leader of the power plant's union and leads a strike against Mr. Burns when he revokes their dental plan (because Lisa needs braces).
    • In another episode "The PTA Disbands", a disastrous field tip and Principal Skinner cutting the school's budget to the point that he's selling the kids' futures short leads Edna Krabappel and the other teachers to agree to a teacher's strike. While Bart revels in the strike by making mischief, Lisa suffers from not being in a classroom setting, Milhouse gets a tutor, and the PTA decides to hire neighborhood people as scab teachers.
    • In "Hungry, Hungry Homer", Homer goes on a hunger strike after he discovers that the owner of the Springfield Isotopes is trying to move them to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Strike!", Orbot and Cubot, fed up with Dr. Eggman's shabby treatment of them, follow Amy's advice on starting a strike. When Dr. Eggman's other robots (which he built for other reasons) fail miserably at cleaning up simple messes, they join Orbot and Cubot's strike, forcing Eggman to hire Mike the Ox, Fastidious Beaver, and Wolfie as Scab minions.
  • South Park: The episode "Canada on Strike" features the World Canadian Bureau (WGA) going on strike for "more money". The strike ends up losing their country lots of money for suspending foreign exports and production and kills hundreds, if not thousands of people through starvation..
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The episode "Squid on Strike" has Squidward fed up with Mr. Krabs' greed and convinces SpongeBob to go on strike with him. SpongeBob proves to be terrible at it. Luckily, he improves but Squidward realizes that he could be stuck with him if their boss doesn't give in to their demands. Squidward goes up to Mr. Krabs to beg for his job back, but it turns out Krabs was even more desperate to get rid of the annoying teenagers he replaced them with. After a little negotiation, it seems things will go back to normal... but when SpongeBob takes the strike too far and vandalizes the Krusty Krab (he "dismantles the establishment"), Mr. Krabs forces them both to work there "forever".
  • In addition to the adaptation of "Trouble in the Shed" (see the Literature section) Thomas & Friends also gives us the episode, "Goodbye Fat Controller", wherein the engines believe that Sir Topham Hatt is leaving the Island of Sodor and are worried he will be replaced with a new controller. They go on strike in response, but the strike soon ends when Sir Topham Hatt explains that he is simply having his office redecorated.


Video Example(s):


Machines take over Red Dwarf

The machines onboard Red Dwarf, Tired of being treated as Second Class Citazens. Go on strike when they find out that the crew were going to leave them behind on the ship to be Sucked into a Black Hole.

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Example of:

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