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Top 10 Getting Fired Movie Scenes

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Niki Neptune. Sometimes, giving two weeks’ notice just isn’t an option. Join WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Getting Fired Scenes. Some of these characters were dismissed from their positions with extreme prejudice, while others were just fed up with the corporate hustle and bustle. There’s going out with a bang, and then there’s going out with an explosion. And your stapler. And, there may be a few spoilers ahead, so SPOILER ALERT. Special thanks to our user kenn1987 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Getting Fired Movie Scenes


Sometimes, giving two weeks’ notice just isn’t an option. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Getting Fired Scenes.

For this list, we’re looking at big screen scenes where characters left their jobs less than ceremoniously. Some of these characters were dismissed from their positions with extreme prejudice, while others were just fed up with the corporate hustle and bustle. There’s going out with a bang, and then there’s going out with an explosion. And your stapler. And, there may be a few spoilers ahead, so SPOILER ALERT.

#10: OCP Senior President Richard ‘Dick’ Jones
“RoboCop” (1987)

In this ‘80s sci-fi action flick, a superhuman-cyborg cop works for a huge corporation looking to aggressively gentrify the city of Detroit. He’s been developed as a prototype to replace the existing police force, and he manages to clean up the streets all by his lonesome. What the Omni Consumer Products Corporation probably wasn’t counting on, however, was that RoboCop would unearth a system of corruption within its own ranks, leading all the way up to OCP president, Dick Jones. As RoboCop confronts Jones and reveals his dirty dealings to the rest of the company, Jones attempts to take the OCP chairman hostage. But the chairman fires Jones on the spot, which allows RoboCop to take him down in an instant.

#9: Marty McFly
“Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

This follow up to the 1985 smash hit continues right where the previous film left off. But this time, Doc and Marty McFly are headed to the future to save Marty’s future kids. The timeline brings us to 2015, where we see an aged Marty McFly living a less than stellar life. He gets on a video call with a coworker who calls him “chicken” for not taking part in a less than scrupulous business deal. Of course, nobody calls Marty McFly “chicken,” so he caves. Unfortunately, his lack of resolve leads to his boss calling him almost instantaneously to give him the news that he’s no longer employed – via fax, of course.

#8: Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms & Ned Nederlander
“Three Amigos” (1986)

This 1980s comedy features Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short as a trio of silent film actors who inadvertently find themselves the saviors of a small Mexican village. Prior to their escapades as real-life heroes, they had been working in Hollywood as the titular “Amigos” on the small screen. They decide that they’re in need of a raise and approach their studio head about a possible bump in salary, but the conversation doesn’t turn out quite as they had hoped.

#7: Tom Smykowski
“Office Space” (1999)
Poor bastard. This scene is especially brutal, because the higher-ups at Initech don’t even have the guts to do their own layoffs. When external hatchet men – the Bobs – are called in to trim the fat at his office, people person Tom is asked to give a rundown of his job responsibilities to prove he’s not redundant. But, those “people skills” he prides himself on seem to be failing him at that moment, and he leaves that meeting with his head hung low. Once he’s officially laid off, things get even worse before they get better. Significantly worse

#6: Eddie Adams / Dirk Diggler
“Boogie Nights” (1997)

This glimpse into the world of porn in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s showed us another side of the skin-flick industry. As Dirk Diggler, Mark Wahlberg is an especially well-endowed young man who quickly rises to fame. The success goes to his head though, so to speak, and he finds himself wrapped up in a world of drinking, drugs, and debauchery. It all catches up to him one day while he’s on set, when he gets into an argument with the film’s director due to drug-related “performance” issues. His temper tantrum leads to him walking off the set in a dramatic spectacle of self-importance.

#5: Max Schumacher
“Network” (1976)

Back before the advent of social media, network television was where you would find scandalous public meltdowns. That’s the story behind this ‘70s hit starring Peter Finch and William Holden. Finch plays Howard Beale, a network anchor that has a breakdown on air and declares he will commit suicide the following Tuesday. This boosts the network’s ratings and prompts more airtime for Beale’s additional rants. His longtime friend Max is concerned by this, and feels Beale should be receiving treatment instead of being exploited. But Max’s boss isn’t having any of it and fires the news division president on the spot.

#4: Donald ‘Don’ Ward
“Casino” (1995)

In this ‘90s crime drama, Robert DeNiro plays Ace Rothstein, a mob-connected casino boss in Las Vegas. He runs a tight ship at the Tangiers casino and prides himself on the gambling facility’s security team. That is, until he’s saddled with Don Ward, an inept employee who jeopardizes the casino’s safety and its bottom-line. After Ward allows three jackpots to happen within twenty minutes under his watch, Ace gives him a vicious verbal assault that culminates in Ward’s dismissal. It’s an embarrassing way to go, but when you’re dealing with millions of dollars and the mob, he should probably just be grateful that he made it out alive.

#3: Steve
“Up in the Air” (2009)

In this drama, George Clooney and Anna Kendrick play a couple of professionals downsizers, travelling from company to company in order to lay off employees so the management doesn’t have to. Naturally, it’s trying work and requires a specific set of social and interpersonal skills that can take years to develop. In one such layoff meeting, Ryan Bingham is meeting with Steve, played by Zach Galifianakis. While Steve doesn’t take the news of his termination well, it’s the grace of Clooney’s character that keeps him from maybe, potentially, flipping into a murderous rage.

#2: Eduardo Saverin
“The Social Network” (2010)

This critically acclaimed drama tells the tale of the creation of one of the world’s most popular social media giants, following Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow Harvard students as they take their idea for an online network of friends from idea to reality. Of course, they experience some bumps and bruises, and even some backstabbing along the way. Andrew Garfield takes on the role of Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s co-founders. And when he finds out that his shares of the burgeoning mega-site have been diluted down to 0.03%, rendering him powerless within the company, it doesn’t go over so well.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- William Earle
“Batman Begins” (2005)
- Ron Burgundy
“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)
- Drs. Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman & Egon Spengler
“Ghostbusters” (1984)
- Mark Bellison
“The Invention of Lying” (2009)
- Guy
“Swimming With Sharks” (1994)

#1: Jerry Maguire
“Jerry Maguire” (1996)

In this ‘90s romantic comedy-drama, Tom Cruise harnesses the power of his crazy to play a smooth sports agent. After he writes an article criticizing the sports management industry, the higher-ups at his company decide it’s time for Jerry Maguire to leave. The icing on the cake is that they send Maguire’s former apprentice, Bob Sugar, to deal the blow. The result is an iconic getting fired scene that would go on to be parodied in movies like “Half Baked.” Jerry doesn’t just collect his things from the office and go; he also attempts to recruit other employees to come with him in a dramatic blaze of glory.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite getting fired scene from the movies? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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