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Series / Workaholics

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(left to right) Adam, Anders, and Blake.

"How are we supposed to find someone to give us clean piss when everyone over the age of 12 smokes weed these days?"
Adam in the pilot.

Workaholics is a Comedy Central Work Com following the exploits of three college graduates and extremely immature men, Adam, Anders, and Blake, played by Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson. The three all work at a telemarketing company, but they spend most of their time getting drunk, doing drugs, and pulling pranks. So as you can see the show was given the name it was as a sarcastic joke.

The show was based on the Web Show 5thyear and is generally described as a sort of Spiritual Successor to Office Space, but on drugs. It premiered on Comedy Central on April 6, 2011, to a mixed-to-positive critical response.

Not to be confused with a Workaholic, which this show's main characters definitely aren't.

Wrapped up after seven seasons in March of 2017. On December 8, 2022, it was announced that a film was in the works for Paramount+ and that it would begin production in the spring of 2023. However, it was announced the following month that the film had been scrapped weeks before it was scheduled to start filming.

Workaholics provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of "Bro Comedy" in general. While the three leads each embody various aspects of the typical characters found in bro comedies, they are clearly shown to be Man Children simply emulating what television and movies have told them is cool. Because of this, the series manages to both present the protagonists as fairly innocent and sympathetic while also lampooning the portrayal of masculinity in media.
  • Ambiguously Brown: A subplot in one episode involves Adam and Blake lusting after the same girl, with one thinking she's African-American, and the other thinking she's Asian. Near the end, she clears up the confusion by stating she's both; she has a black father and an Asian mother.
  • Author Avatar: The main three are clearly exaggerated versions of their actors, all of whom really are party-loving slackers who frequently engage in recreational drug use.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Ders' father is named Thor. Adam and Blake freak out when they hear.
  • Bookends: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Roommates" starts and ends with the guys all arguing and yelling at each other at the same time, only to stop and share a few contented bites of food, at the beginning, it's pizza, then at the end, donuts.
  • Brick Joke: A few.
    • In "Straight Up Juggahos", the boys scheme to set Jillian up on a blind date with a man they found online, telling her he is a friend named Jake Heisenripbauer (a name they made up on the spot). At the very end of the episode, Jillian calls him by the said name, leaving us to assume that she's been calling him that the entire time and that she still doesn't know his real name.
    • "Model Kombat" has Blake meeting a sports shop owner who lost nearly all his sight during the war when a piece of shrapnel hit him, but Blake mistakes his words for "pizza shrapnel." Later in the episode, Adam throws a pizza slice at Ders. Blake immediately yells at him, asking if they have any idea how many people go blind due to pizza shrapnel.
    • In the cold open of "In the Line of Getting Fired", Adam says that he'd be willing to give head to a man for $900 (which he immediately recants). During the closing scene, Blake is being put into an ambulance after being shot and asks how much it will cost him since he doesn't have insurance. The paramedic says $900. Blake and Ders then tell Adam to put his money where his mouth is.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The boys are more of a subversion of this. All three of them are idiots and slackers who actually do well at their jobs, but this is more because their job works in such a way that it perfectly conforms to each of their personalities, allowing them to do well at it without actually putting forth any genuine effort.
  • Butt-Monkey: Waymond-he's kind of the maligned sidekick to Montez, in the alternative trio of Montez, Waymond and Jetset. In the later seasons, Bill, a pathetic sadsack with absolutely nothing going for him, takes the role from him.
    • Really, all three of the main guys. They're shown to be woefully incompetent at almost everything they try.
  • Casanova Wannabe: All three of the guys are perfectly confident around women... it's just the extent of their interactions with them are cheap and often disgusting pickup lines that never work. Blake is the only one of the three who seems to ever openly panic over his inability to get girls.
  • Catchphrase: "Tight butthole/loose butthole" definitely comes to mind.
    • Blake and calling people "dumb idiots."
    • Adam and his "Oh I like that!"
    • There are a lot of these that are shorter lived like 'let's get weird', and 'take it sleazy'. It fits the characters (especially Adam) by showing how desperate he is to say something other people want to say, to be cool.
    • Montez likes to talk about booty.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Blake is often called out on looking like Paula Poundstone.
    • In another episode, to mock Der's supposed hair loss, Adam calls him Michael Chiklis.
    • Adam is also compared to looking like Matt Damon, which happens to the actor in real life as well.
  • Character Development: If you pay attention, you'll notice that Ders gets considerably less uptight after the events of "The Promotion", where he realizes that being a respectable white-collar worker isn't all it's cracked up to be. He's still the most levelheaded of the trio after that episode, but he's much more appreciative of his friendship with Adam and Blake afterwards.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the episode "Real Time", while the guys are drinking on the roof in the beginning, Blake is playing with a laser pointer. He later uses it against the future chicks during the bike chase scene.
    • An example more like Chekhov's Uniform really: In "Checkpoint Gnarly" Bradley uses Blake's stripper-cop uniform to rescue the boys from the tow truck driver.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Blake and Adam's drug dealer and friend, Karl.
    • Blake and Adam themselves, though mostly Blake. Jillian as well, perhaps even moreso.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "The Meat Jerking Beef Boys" a realtor asks the gang not to be out drinking on their roof while she's giving an open house. Blake agrees promptly, saying "Weed only!"
  • Comic Trio: They tend to alternate between two setups. The first has the impulsive Adam as the clueless leader, the perpetually stoned Manchild Blake as the dumb follower and the comparatively intelligent Anders as the Only Sane Man. The second has the Know-Nothing Know-It-All Anders as the clueless leader, the idiotic Adam as the dumb follower and the Erudite Stoner Blake as the Only Sane Man.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: "Alice Quits" gives us this example.
    Ders: Coming in, Trav. We're here to tell you you're about to get a video chat call from the people at Earth Pets.
    Blake: Yeah, I guess they got some surveillance video of a certain executive shooting birds.
    Adam: Hmm, that'd be crazy. And I wouldn't say they didn't like it, cause they didn't not like it cause they loved hating it and not liking it at all.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Jillian mentions her cat Brent Hoffman dying in the season two episode "Man Trip". In "Fat Cuz" she tells Adam's fellow cat-loving cousin that it is the anniversary of Brent Hoffman's death.
    • Another Jillian related one-in "Old man Ders," she mentions that she was adopted by a "horrible Korean family." In "Real Time," she answers the phone by saying 'yoboseyo', which is a Korean greeting.
    • In the Halloween Episode "A TelAmerican Horror Story", the guys briefly encounter the ghost of Kristy Howard-Clark (aka "Homegirl"), who died in the episode "Good Mourning".
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Jillian is a weird example. She has several cats and is regularly shown to be pretty unstable but her cats serve more as a way of emphasizing her complete lack of social life rather than being tied to her craziness.
  • Cringe Comedy: A lot of the humor in this show is derived from the three leads embarrassing themselves or messing up one way or the other.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The boys' boss, Alice. The boys themselves slip into this on occasion, generally Ders.
  • Delivery Guy: What the three chuckle-heads wind up as during "Orgazmo Birth".
  • Depending on the Writer: The boys' level of immaturity, Jillian's intelligence, Alice's hostility, etc. often fluctuates between episodes.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Montez is a middle-aged man whose mind seems to be perpetually in the gutter. To his credit, he's very faithful to his wife, who is even more perverted than he is, and the two are more or less Happily Married.
    • Bill seems to be around Montez's age and has an obsession with cuckolding; even having an entire A Day in the Limelight episode consisting of an extended dream sequence building up to him getting to cuck Montez. Compared to Montez, Bill is much more consistently shown to be a skeevy loser.
  • The Ditz: Adam is implied to be mentally challenged a few times. While he's not quite as loopy as Blake is, he's also clearly less intelligent.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When the boys pull a "Poop Dollar" prank on someone (they wrap a dollar around poop and then leave it on the ground for someone to pick up or step on), one of them shouts "See we poop in the dollar!" as the victim runs away. When it happens again, they all yell "POOP DOLLAR" as they drive away.
  • Downer Ending: "Heist School". After the guys spend the whole episode trying to recover their beloved dragon statue from some local teenage punks, said punks decapitate the dragon with a chainsaw and subsequently take over the guys' house to throw a wild party.
    • This episode received poor reception upon release due to this ending.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Blake was confused for Anders' wife by an older employee in "The Strike".
  • Embarrassing Voicemail: In the episode "Real Time", the boys must get to work to erase drunk and angry messages they left the night before on Alice's answering machine.
  • Erudite Stoner: Blake is almost constantly high, but he also tends to be the most down to earth and kindhearted of the trio.
  • Extreme Doormat: Jillian has no spine and lets Alice and the main three walk over her constantly.
  • Fanservice: Blake's striptease at the beginning of "Checkpoint Gnarly." Really, in any given episode there's a pretty good chance Blake will end up at least partially naked.
    • There are plenty of scantily clad women in several episodes.
  • Flanderization: The main trio have gotten a lot dumber over time. Might be justified due to the all the drugs they're known to do.
  • Freudian Trio: While all three of the guys are ids compared to everyone else, within the group they hold this dynamic. Adam is the id by being even more unreliable and unpredictable than the other two, Blake is the ego for being slightly more responsible than Adam is as well as being the most naive and impressionable of the trio, and Anders is the superego, being the closest to a mature adult out of the three.
  • Funny Background Event: Alice has a framed picture of Kate Gosselin on her desk.
  • Gorn: The episode "Friendship Anniversary" gets surprisingly violent as the guys kill the rats infesting their house.
  • Hellistics: The guys nearly hit a man in their car while driving to work. At the office, they discover a visiting company executive is that man. Turns out to be an example for the exec too, as he was trying to get hit by a car.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A threesome example between the main guys, with all the Ho Yay that comes with it. Blake and Adam both slightly more so with each other than with Ders.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Adam frequently brags about how cool he was back in high school, how many women he's slept with and how huge his dick is. It's obvious to everyone that he's telling very transparent lies to compensate for his insecurities. This is further proven by how easily he breaks down at the slightest insult.
  • Informed Attribute: Ders has "tits", Adam is "fat", and Blake has a penis "the size of a lego man". All three actors are relatively fit young men, and it's highly doubtful the actor who portrays Blake is that small down there.
    • To be fair, Ders has rather prominent saggy pecs for his otherwise lean body and Adam is noticeably more pudgy than the other two, though he is also fairly muscular.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Ders." Anders is hardly ever called by his full name. There are a lot of these, Montez calls himself Monteezy (though other characters often call him just "Tez"), Blake is called "Uncle Blazer", "Blazer", "Blaze", and "Blazerian". Adam gives himself a lot of nicknames, with fake nickname middle names like "Killzone" "Topgun" and more. For one episode, Ders is called Blonders because he's blond.
  • Insistent Terminology: In one episode, the guys stop calling it weed and call it grass. Then by the end of the episode, when Carl also calls it grass, they say they're calling it dro now.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alice is indeed a verbally abusive Mean Boss, and in the episode "Model Kombat" she outright tells Adam that she wouldn't care if he died. Later that episode, she saves him from choking to death, and afterwards even grudgingly lets him hug her for a second.
  • Jive Turkey: Montez, who is middle-aged, Ambiguously Brown and works in telemarketing.
  • Karma Houdini: The high school kids in "Heist School," who crash the boys' home and party, and decapitate their beloved dragon statue. (To be fair, they did steal it from a public park thanks to a misunderstanding on how taxes and public property works) In the commentary, the guys even state that this was by far the least popular ending of an episode to date.
    • They encounter the high school kids again in "Fourth and Inches," and they somewhat get even, but even then it's a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Adam pulls a Leeroy out of his shroom fueled haze in the first season episode "Office Campout", ruining Blake and Ders' ridiculously childish plan and running straight at who he thinks are burglars, but turn out to just be the tech guys coming into the office to do routine maintenance. He even shouts "Leeroy Jenkins!"
  • Likes Older Women: Adam's recurring crush on Alice, who is a good ten years older than him (due to Dawson Casting, the two actors are about six years apart and in the same age bracket). In another episode he enters a relationship with a woman old enough to be his mother and explicitly mentions that fact ("Sharon is as old as my mom is.").
  • Loser Protagonist: The three guys, Jillian, Alice, all of their coworkers and Karl are all pretty pathetic people all around. This is Played for Laughs as they have so much room to grow. Not that they ever do.
  • Manchild: All of them, but mostly Blake.
  • Mean Boss: Alice regularly insults her employees both passively and outright. She manages to avoid being a Bad Boss, since she cares about doing a good job and never fires anyone without cause—she's just a very angry person.
  • Meta Fiction: The final episode is extremely meta in general. Especially when you know Adam and Blake actually lived in the house the show was filmed in during season 1. And when you know Mail Order Comedy started with a web-series on Youtube, which was basically 'Workaholics' before the show was a thing.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The drug tester gets really close to Adam when he's peeing into a cup.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The show is not about workaholics (though it does involve work and addictions).
  • Not So Above It All: The guys are generally dumber and crazier than everyone around them, although many of their coworkers (Montez, Jillian, Jet Set, Bill) are still weird. Alice the ill-tempered boss is pretty intelligent and reasonable, but she sometimes acts more like the guys. In one episode she gets drunk (after two years of sobriety, which even Adam realizes is a bad thing) after seeing one of her employees with a great house in a cool neighborhood while she lives in a "widow's pad", and in the season 3 opener, she drops acid with the guys, to win over a hard-partying potential client.
  • Old Maid: Alice is in her early forties, gets divorced early on into the series and frequently worries about her love life. Adam is attracted to her, and both Ders and Blake openly admit that they'd bang her.
  • One-Word Title
  • Precision F-Strike: Though there's plenty of cursing on the show, there aren't as many uses of the word fuck, but they do pop up from time to time. "Alice Quits" gives us two examples.
    Travis: Don't cause a scene, Alice!
    Alice: Oh, Fuck off Travis! And eat a dick. I quit!
    Travis: Jessie, calm down.
    Jet Set: Bitch, my name is Jet Motha-fuckin Set! But you can call me Patric Swayze, cause guess what? I'm ghost.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Ders attempts this most frequently, though all three of them divulge in it from time to time.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Ders is very proud of his Norwegian heritage, and considers himself to be the successor of a very noble and manly legacy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, Alice, who has retained her staff (even Anders, Adam, and Blake) despite numerous emails from Corporate telling her to trim the dead weight.
    • Local high school principal Mr. Sen is also a surprisingly chill guy who, while always exasperated with the main trio, is also quite friendly and almost even supportive towards them. It helps that he's a functioning alcoholic and they provide a steady stream of booze to him.
  • Re-Cut: The boys watch an edited-for-TV version of Die Hard with Blake's drug dealer and note the amusing replacement of "fuck" with "cluck."
  • Running Gag: Whenever a guy ask if the people around him want to see his penis, he looks into his pants and starts touching himself. After a few seconds of this, he then looks up and tells everyone never mind.
  • Sarcastic Title: You can almost hear the title saying "Yeah, reeaal workaholics, those guys."
  • Ship Tease: Blake and Jillian are a very weird example of this. Several episodes imply that they have crushes on each other, and the episode "Hungry Like The Wolfdog" features some very non-traditional Will They or Won't They?, but just as many episodes reveal that they actually make a terrible couple, with Jillian suddenly becoming a terrible girlfriend to the Extreme Doormat Blake.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A drug tester in The Pilot calls Blake "Strawberry Shortcake".
    • The pilot also features several references to Die Hard, complete with Blake crawling through the vents while paraphrasing a line from the movie.
    • Again from the pilot, the kid in the playground that the boys try to get clean pee from calls Blake "Hermione".
    • In the episode 'Temp-tress', Blake gives an impassioned (and poorly delivered) version of the Kurt Russel Speech from Miracle, talking about Montez, including the line 'I am sick of tired of hearing about what a good salesman Montez is.'
    • The episode "Stop! Pajama Time" has a reference to Rudy when the team lays down their pajamas in order to protest Jillian being fired. Alice tells Holmvik he's supposed to be the mature one, and Holmvik responds "I believe that I am."
    • In "Real Time" when rollerblading while chugging beers (and already still drunk from the night before), Adam climbs his way over a fence shouting "Kung-Fu!...Hustle!" The episode also references Speed, with Adam shouting "There's a bomb on the bus! If we go below fifty miles an hour, or don't go directly to TelAmeriCorp, we're gonna explode!" Also, the actor who plays the bus driver also played the bus driver in Speed.
    • "Model Kombat" contains an homage to Bloodsport with Adam blinding Blake with cigarette ashes before their fight. Blake calls upon advice from a blind man earlier in the episode and throws a punch at Adam anyway, only to hit Jillian in the face and give her a bloody nose.
    • In "Timechair", the guys exhange a number of video game shoutouts, comparing themselves to various Mario Kart racers (Blake says he's Yoshi, Adam says he's Bowser, then Wario and Ders is happy to be Luigi), and then Blake says he's a Diddy Kong Racer. Ders says if there's changing games, he's Pierce Brosnan, 007.
    • Catherine Zeta Jones! She dips beneath lasers. Woooaaaooo.
    • In "Temp-tress", Adam pretends to be a customer to cause Montez to avoid making more sales, the name he gives Terry Bollea and the fake voice he uses is also his wrestler voice, completing with punctuating sentences with 'brother'. This is a subtle shout out, as Terry Bollea is Hulk Hogan's real name.
    • "Fat Cuz" opens with the guys in the middle of a conversation, seemingly about whether or not they would have sex with Alyssa Milano's corpse-apparently, her name is never mentioned but instead several things she was in, "Poison Ivy II", "Commando" and "Who's the Boss" are referenced and turned into typically (For Adam) clumsy euphemisms.
    • In "Good Mourning" after Homegirl's passing, Adam starts a "Her name is Roberta Paulson" chant. Of course, that wasn't her name.
    • In that same episode, Adam talks about how great Homegirl was saying "Nice?! She was a KING... a king of the hill...She was a legend...of the fall...She was Malcolm ...when Malcolm was in the middle, she was an ultimate fighter til the end."
    • "The Promotion" has Adam and Blake pranking Ders by loosening his door so that he yanks it out.
    Adam: "Oh, what, are you gonna break on through to the other side? Jim Morrison? The Doors?"
    • During an office airsoft gun battle in "Alice Quits", Adam quotes Predator in a macho voice, "I ain't got time to bleed.", prompting a confused Ders to say "Are you bleeding?" Adam says in his normal voice "No, because," before repeating the quote in his previous voice.
    • In "Straight Up Juggahos" Blake says "I'm not gonna stand in the way of love. I'm not Billy Zane"
    • According to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Roommates," Anders apparently went to Eric Draven Middle School, the mascot of which is a crow.
    • In "Old Man Ders" the guys are shown mid-discussion about Harry and the Hendersons, with Adam saying "its legit" and Ders saying they weren't disagreeing with that.
    • After Blake deep-fries all his office supplies in "Fish Fry", Montez exclaims "This is some Jim and Dwight bullshit!"
  • Shown Their Work: It's unknown if there are any actual Insane Clown Posse fans on the production staff, but they go surprisingly in-depth into the Juggalo subculture for the episode "Straight Up Juggahos", right down to having one of the Juggalettes dub Adam "Sugar Bear" (the name of Shaggy 2 Dope's character in Big Money Hustlas) in one scene. Sure, they spend most of the episode mocking juggalos, but at least they got the details right.
    • Notably, it's a much more Affectionate Parody than most depictions of Juggalo culture; while they're kind of trashy and bizarre, they end up being pretty decent to the main trio. Note that this is also pretty spot-on: Juggalos typically pride themselves on being friendly and welcoming to everyone, including outsiders to their subculture.
  • Similar Squad: In "Trivia Pursuits", the trio face off against three Asian equivalents of themselves in a game of trivia.
  • Sixth Ranger: Jillian and Karl are the only characters who could really be called the main three's friends. They both occasionally tag along on their adventures.
  • Smart Ball: Blake and Ders tend to trade off who is the Only Sane Man of the trio from scene to scene. Generally, Ders is the most rational of the three while Blake is the most empathetic. At other times, though, no one is the Straight Man and all three of the guys are portrayed as being equally useless, arrogant idiots.
  • Spiritual Successor: Some reviewers describe it as this to Office Space.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Just about every teenager on the show is a massive asshole and bully. It's Played for Laughs since the main three are in their mid-twenties and are still picked on by them.
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Played for Laughs in "Flashback in the Day", a flashback episode that shows how the guys met in college. The show began in 2011, so the episode is littered with ridiculously specific references to pop culture from the mid-2000s, like Napoleon Dynamite and The Illusionist (2006).
  • The Unfettered: If Anders drinks enough he completely drops his faux-mature attitude and becomes a violent, immature version of himself the other boys call "The Ders" - as Blake puts it "he head-butted a female security guard, bumrushed the stage, and dedicated a song to his dad." "This is a guy who fucked a koifish in the mouth until it died in front of a P.F. Chang's."
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist:
    • Subverted. While the three main characters are basically the annoying frat boys that come to your party uninvited, get really drunk, and fuck up your couch, they manage to be so ineffectual and pathetic while still showing heart every now and then that they actually become sympathetic. "Heist School" is a prime example because the guys lose so badly to teenagers and audiences hated the ending. The guys are losers, but they're the audience's losers.
    • A straighter example would be Bill. While his suffering occasionally makes you feel bad for him, the show makes it clear that he's kind of a complete scumbag who deserves everything that happens to him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The three guys all love each other, but they also get really mad at each other very often. Sometimes they go back and forth quickly like in "Timechair" when Ders and Blake get ready to joust. Blake lists off a past grievance of Ders stealing a chick from him, but Ders can't hear him. Blake quickly shrugs it off, saying its in the past, and the two joust with an air of just having fun (dangerous and reckless fun, of course).
  • The Voiceless: Waymond. Enforced-on an episode where Waymond was due to testify in court against the guys, they took action to push the court's affairs back a day, helping to ensure Waymond doesn't speak.
    Adam: Waymond, you're being uncharacteristically quiet.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The episode "Flashback in the Day" takes place in 2007 and shows how the trio met in college.
    • This is done again with "TAC in the Day" which shows the guys first day working at the office.



Video Example(s):


I Am Eracist!

After Blake announces his new anti-racism wrestling persona, proudly yelling out "I am Eracist!", Anders has to remind him to enunciate. Blake continues to explain how he is not a racist, and is instead gonna erase racism.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThatCameOutWrong

Media sources: