There have been many movies and books that have poked fun of life as an office worker — and who can blame them? A huge percentage of people work in an office, and frankly, most office jobs have a certain tedium to them that makes most people wince at them.
Office movie scenes often bank on classic tropes about the working lifestyle, and the truth is that they are relatable for most of us. We've all had co workers who annoy us, people in a department who just don't seem to have a clue what they're doing, and bosses who are inept on a number of levels.
The following office movie scenes are proof that just about every job has its own quirks — and that offices can be hilarious places.
Office Space – The TPS Reports
We can't have a list of office movie scenes without involving the biggest workplace movie hit of them all — Office Space.
This comedy was infamous for perfectly nailing what life is like in an office job that's soul-sucking to the core. The most aggravating scenes all seem to involve the boss who seems to think that everyone who works for him is an idiot.
This scene isn't so much funny as it is true in so many cases. Who hasn't had a boss that talked down to them in that condescending tone? If you ask many people in the work world, this is one of the most realistic office movie scenes ever made.
American Psycho – The Business Card
American Psycho is one of those films that makes you wonder about what really goes on in a business executive's head. Are they really all sociopaths who notice every little detail, or could they just be honest men and women who want to make money?
Perhaps one of the most notorious office movie scenes happens when Bateman and his coworkers compare business cards. There's something about the tension in this scene that just puts people on edge. Nothing violent is happening, per se, but it all seems incredibly superficial and cutthroat nonetheless.
There's a little bit of fraternity-style culture in there, and it really flaunts the way that many corporate arenas tend to be "Old Boys' Clubs." Even so, it's impossible to deny how incredibly competitive every little move is in this scene.
The Devil Wears Prada – Stuff
Speaking as someone who has worked at a fashion company in New York City, there is a lot of truth to office movie scenes in The Devil Wears Prada.
In many fashion groups, if you step out of line, your boss will come down on you hard. The Devil Wears Prada perfectly nails how every little detail comes under scrutiny when putting together an outfit for an editorial, and how quickly people will tear into you for being too lax on the job.
This scene also shows the truth behind fashion. Millions of dollars go into deciding trends, promoting them, designing them, and more. We often don't take that into account.
Moneyball – Baseball Scouts
Moneyball is a film that shows the business behind sports, and as such, has a surprisingly honest number of scenes involving business dealings. This is one of the best office movie scenes to watch if you want to see the kind of planning that goes into arranging sports teams — or any kind of event, really.
Tommy Boy – Killing the Sale
Of all the office jobs out there, sales tends to be one of the most common. Without sales, businesses can't run. That being said, it's somewhat surprising that there aren't more office movie scenes dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a salesman.
Though this scene is totally over the top, the truth is that most salespeople do struggle with learning how to close sales when they first start their careers.
Chris Farley's character, in his own weird way, shows the insecurities and excitement that most salespeople struggle. Despite the scene being insane, every salesperson has felt this way in the office at least once — trust me on this.
Apollo 13 – Failure is Not An Option
Apollo 13 is not a movie that you would expect to see on a list about office scenes, but it's a good reminder that not all offices are boring. In fact, some offices can involve serious feats of engineering, life-saving services, and more.
The way that people at NASA handled the crisis involving Apollo 13 is one of the best office movie scenes out there — if only because it shows that office workers can be heroes in their own right.
Even if you don't work in an office where lifesaving strategies are made for astronaut landings, the time crunch and fear in everyone's voices are signs that you may have noticed as your coworkers crunch through a deadline.
Dr. Strangelove – No Fighting in the War Room
Dr. Strangelove has a number of brilliant office movie scenes that poke fun at both the military complex and the absurdity of work in general. This particular scene is brilliant in showing how awkward and annoying a difficult business meeting can be.
Everyone has had a meeting with a boss or a potential business partner who was just insufferable. Dr. Strangelove shows what it's like to finally get to snap at them — and how hypocritical everything can be in the world of negotiations.
The Hudsucker Proxy – You Know, For Kids
The Hudsucker Proxy is a movie about a man on his quest to destroy a stock's value in hopes that he can eventually buy an entire company on his own. Unfortunately, his effort backfires greatly.
This scene shows a man who just "invented" the hula hoop and showing his invention to a coworker. He explains nothing about the hoop, nor what it's supposed to do.
As a result, his brilliant idea looks like a big, fat zero — for kids. Office movie scenes like this one are hilarious, primarily because they remind us that most people don't see our genius until it's actually in action.
Up in the Air – How Much Did They Pay You?
Few office movie scenes are as depressing as this one from Up in the Air. This scene literally has a man asking someone how much he was paid to give up on his dreams. It also shows a man who is fed up with being underpaid and underappreciated.
Unfortunately, most people can relate to this scene a bit too well. This scene forces you to ask yourself if you really are in the right career — and if you may have been sacrificing something too precious to make a little extra cash.
Step Brothers – Job Interviews
If you watch a lot of movies, then you've probably noticed plenty of office movie scenes dealing with the task of hiring a new employee. Usually, they are montages of bad interviews, with one final interview that looks incredible compared to them all.
Step Brothers does things a little bit differently. This comedy shows what might be one of the most awkward job interviews ever to be made. Anyone who has ever been on the interviewing end can breathe a sigh of relief that they will never have to interview two employees that are as bad as them.
Spider-Man – Jonah Jameson
Yes, Spider-Man actually had quite a bunch of great office movie scenes out there — but you probably don't remember them. The scenes all deal with the high-energy, highly ambitious newspaper mogul, J. Jonah Jameson.
It's hard to hate Jonah Jameson because he's so charmingly old school in his style and business methods. We've all met a business owner who has that kind of spunk and chutzpah, and to a point, we all have to admire them.
Glengarry Glen Ross – Coffee's for Closers
This is one of the only office movie scenes that became so well known, it even got referenced in a Progressive Auto Insurance commercial. When Flo told a guy that "sprinkles are for winners," she was actually referencing this scene in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Much like with other sales scenes on this list, Glengarry highlights the struggles of salesmen who can't quite make a deal. It's both real and humorous — all the while reminding us of the meritocracy that is work.