Workplace Comedies that are Totally Unrealistic and a Few that are Dead On

Workplace Comedies that are Totally Unrealistic and a Few that are Dead On November 20, 2019Leave a comment

Movies like "Office Space" and shows like "The Office" really put workplace comedies on the map. Truthfully though, if we think about it, we have been enjoying movies and shows revolving around workplaces for years. Whether your job is at a convenience store or a cubicle there has probably been a movie or show based on it - the real question though is, is it accurate? Well hey, we'll be the judge of that.

"Office Space"

20th Century Fox

"Office Space" tells the story of a man who gets frustrated at his office job, stops showing up, then goes back without a care. He wears casual clothing, parks in his boss's spot, and gets promoted. While this movie is hilarious and we all can related to the annoyingness of a desk job, there is no way it is like that in real life.

"The Office"

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

"The Office" was a critically and audience praised show about a group of people working at a paper company. Like most sitcoms, it does stretch the truth, but as far as workplace comedies go it is pretty accurate. Everyone has that coworker and the show highlights all of them.

"Working Girl"

20th Century Fox

"Working Girl" tells the story of a secretary whose idea gets stolen by her boss so she attempts to steal it back by pretending to be her boss. While we are sure that bosses steal ideas all the time it never works in the favor of the secretary this particularly well.


Miramax Films

"Clerks" is about a man, Dante, who works at a convenience store next to a video store that his friend Randall also works at and their day to day lives. It is mostly just the two of them talking about stuff, Dante arguing that he isn't supposed to work that day and still going in. Some parts are boring sure, but that is why this is a pretty accurate depiction of working at a store like this.

"9 to 5"

20th Century Fox

"9 to 5" tells the tale of three women getting back at their misogynistic boss. It also has a banging song of the same title sung by the star of the movie Dolly Parton. It is a very fun movie but also it is in the same league as other movies that are more like a dream of people that work at companies versus how things actually happen in real life.

"High Fidelity"

Buena Vista Pictures

"High Fidelity" is about a music fanatic and his job owning a record shop. He is obsessed with music and creates best song lists for every type of moment in life. It's very fun and there are parts of the movie that are accurate, especially the scenes with Jack Black's character talking to customers.

"Employee of the Month"

Lionsgate Films

"Employee of the Month" tells the story of people that work at a Costco-style store. It revolves around two co-workers who compete to be employee of the month in the hopes of wooing a new co-worker. It's very wacky, far-fetched, and honestly kind of misogynistic, so not really at all like working at Costco.


Lions Gate Films

"Waiting..." is the server movie that we might not have needed, but the one we deserved. The movie depicts all of the characters you run into at a TGI Friday-style restaurant. They pee in soups and play lewd games, all while they're on the clock. It's not super accurate and mostly depicts what a server would love to do versus what they actually do, but it is still a pretty grossly funny movie.

"Empire Records"

Warner Bros.

"Empire Records" is about all of the characters you run into working at a record store in the early '90s. It is a movie very of its era. It is a bit more dramatic than real life, there's eating disorder scares, a girl shaving her head in the bathroom, and more. But who knows, maybe if you've worked at a record store Rex Manning Day would be like the present day Cardi B Day.

"In Good Company"

Universal Pictures

"In Good Company" is about a middle aged man who takes a job at an advertising company and his boss who is much younger than him. He doesn't start to really struggle with it until his younger boss takes an interest in his daughter. It is more focused on the relationship with the three of them rather than office work, but parts of it are definitely relatable.


Viacom Media Networks

"Workaholics" was a show on Comedy Central that focused on three roommates that also worked at the same telemarketer-type cubicle job. They are big time stoners, probably to deal with their very boring and tedious job. Sure it is a little far-fetched, but anyone that has worked at a call center place can relate to certain aspects about this show.


NBCUniversal Television Distribution

"Superstore" revolves around people that work at a big retail store similar to Walmart or Target called Cloud 9. Like most workplace comedy sitcoms, it does stretch the truth, but for the most part a lot of their depictions of working at a retail job like that are pretty accurate but also very funny.

"WKRP in Cincinnati"

20th Television

"WKRP in Cincinnati" follows all of the misadventures of what happens at a struggling radio station in Cincinnati. It was created by Hugh Wilson who based the series upon his experiences working in advertising sales at a Top 40 radio station, so while it is very funny, it is also very relatable and partially accurate.

"Are You Being Served?"

BBC Worldwide

"Are You Being Served" is a comedy that takes place in a British department store. It parodies the British class system and focuses more on those jokes rather than the common problems and adventures of working at a department store. It is very funny, but not very realistic.


Miramax Films

"Extract" is Mike Judge's companion piece to "Office Space." The movie focuses on a flavoring extract company and its owner who struggles with balancing work and his marriage. He then falls for a new coworker who tries to take down the company. Similar to "Office Space," it is a very exaggerated tale of work life.

"Party Down"


"Party Down" tell the story of a catering company and the variety of people that work there. There are people that take the job way too seriously and people that acknowledge it is a very silly job. It is pretty honest and a funny but not over-the-top depiction of working for a catering company.

"The Devil Wears Prada"

20th Century Fox

"The Devil Wears Prada" tells the story of what it is like working in the high fashion industry. The movie is based off a memoir written by a girl who was the assistant to Anna Winter (allegedly). It shows how difficult being an assistant is and how your personal relationships suffer. It's pretty accurate considering it is based on a true story.

"Gung Ho"

Paramount Pictures

"Gung Ho" follows the story of an auto plant that is acquired by a Japanese company. A brokering auto worker Hunt Stevenson has the tricky challenge of mediating the two very different cultures - Japanese and people living in Pennsylvania. It is a fun portrayal and kind of on the cusp of too wacky vs. kind of accurate.

"Horrible Bosses"

Warner Bros. Pictures

"Horrible Bosses" depicts how evil some bosses can be and a person's goal of attempting to kill those evil bosses. They hire a hitman who isn't really a hitman and their plan kind of falls through. It is not like true life, but it is a great, fun fantasy to watch.


CBS Television Distribution

"Cheers" depicts what it is like working at a bar. They have bar regulars and deal with relationships in from of all of their coworkers. It is a little dramatic, overly funny and sometimes doesn't highlight the bar work as much, but it is a pretty good depiction of working at a bar.


Disney–ABC Domestic Television

"Scrubs" details what it is like working at a hospital. It follows JT as he starts working there all the way up until he leaves. It is a very fantasty-esque show with a lot of daydream scenes of JT's thoughts but with all the silly scenes there is almost just as many heartfelt and honest scenes about working in a hospital.

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" depicts a Brooklyn precinct and the wacky characters that work there. They are all mostly cops, but the series also highlights the captain's receptionist, Gina, who steals the show. It does have a lot of realistic police moments, but for the most part it is a very wacky and not very realistic cop show, but it kind of works better that way.

"Parks and Recreation"

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

"Parks and Recreation" is a show that tells of all the characters that work in the Parks and Recreation Department in a small town in Indiana. It is created by the same guy who created "The Office," so it has very much that same tone. It is very goofy and funny. but it does highlight the main character Leslie's determination and love of her job. We do think it does make the Parks and Rec department look more fun than it actually is working there.


Paramount Domestic Television

"Taxi" tells the tale about a taxi company in Manhattan. It focuses on the variety of people that work driving taxis, from an aspiring actor to a single mom. Some people treat it as a temporary job and some think of it as a career. It is pretty funny and truthfully a pretty good portrayal of working at a taxi company.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

20th Television

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" follows Mary and her coworkers that work at fictional station's six o'clock news. It has parts of it that are pretty accurate but many other parts focus more on Mary's personal life. Some parts portray working at a television network too easily and it can be much more difficult in real life.