10 movie characters who are terrible at their job

10 movie characters who are terrible at their job. By Simon Miraudo.

In the surprise box office hit Bad Teacher, Cameron Diaz plays a … well, a bad teacher. It’s not the most imaginative title in the world, but it brought in the crowds (to the tune of $216 million worldwide). To celebrate the film’s success, as well as the incompetence of its lead character, we’re looking back on the most unqualified, inept and wildly useless jobholders in movie history. Pray that you boast a more impressive CV than these guys.

1. Randal Graves in Clerks

The patron saint of bad employees, Randal Graves spends his days sleeping at his video store, agitating his idiot customers and bothering QuickStop clerk Dante Hicks. His greatest transgression? Ordering a variety of creatively-titled pornos in ear-shot of a little girl looking for Happy Scrappy Hero Pup.

2. Terrence McDonagh in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

With all due respect to Harvey Keitel’s own, oft-nude Bad LieutenantNic Cage and Werner Herzog one up their predecessor by introducing us to a crack-addled cop who threatens to shoot elderly women in the face and teams up with drug dealers to clear his personal debts.

3. Dom Cobb in Inception

OK, he may be the best brain-spy in the world, but Dom Cobb doesn’t know a thing about working in a team. Umm, maybe you could have told everyone that your wife will try and kill them all as soon as they enter the subconscious. Or were you too busy running away from those rogue trains that you’re responsible for imagining too?

4. Maria Fiore in The Wedding Planner

It’s called The Wedding Planner, not The Wedding Ruiner.

5. Nina Ivanovna Yakushova in Ninotchka

In Ernst Lubitsch‘s classic comedy, Greta Garbo plays Nina “Ninotchka”, a stern Soviet envoy sent to France to retrieve three ex-pats who have fallen in love with the nation’s romantic, capitalist ways. She too is eventually sucked in, turning her back on Mother Russia for the charms of a Count. Stalin would have been disappointed, but that guy was always in a bad mood.

6. Officer Slater and Officer Michaels in Superbad

We were going to mention Inspector Clouseau here, but even he occasionally gets the job done (albeit accidentally). Instead, let’s take the time to acknowledge Superbad‘s beat cops Slater and Michaels, who – in the course of one night – steal alcohol, drink and drive, run over a teenager, shoot their guns wildly, set fire to their car, and, perhaps worst of all, use their siren against police regulations. There are rules, dammit!

7. Colonel Bat Guano in Dr. Strangelove

The unfortunately named Bat Guano directly disobeys orders from Brigadier Jack D. Ripper and shoots a Coca Cola machine for spare change so that Captain Mandrake can make a call to the President warning him of an impending nuclear attack. When the bomb eventually went off, Guano will have died with the knowledge that he betrayed his superior.

8. Everyone other than Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie

Not only is the entire cast of Southwest General atrocious at their craft, but they’re all so self-involved they don’t even realise that the feisty Southern starlet of the show Dorothy Michaels has a penis.

9. Nick, Dale and Kurt in Horrible Bosses

These guys are so outrageously insubordinate they actually plot the murder of their employers. And they can’t even get that right. Be the change you want to see in the world, guys.

10. Captain Edward John Smith in Titanic

Nice work, genius.

Discuss: Which useless movie employees (or employers) did we miss out?

3 Responses to “10 movie characters who are terrible at their job”

  1. What about ANYTHING the Marx Bros portrayed???????
    Gotta be numeo uno of bad employees!

  2. Nicholas Cage attempting to act. That’s a BIG one!

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