Sitcoms are beloved for their ability to create and develop compelling and relatable characters. One of the most common settings for a good sitcom is the workplace, where writers can highlight office antics and character tensions. With every funny office comes an amusing boss. While some of these bosses are great at their jobs, others are nothing short of a menace.
These characters, regardless of who they may be off the clock, can be a massive inconvenience for their employees. From indifference about worker safety to outright harassment, some of these bosses should never be allowed in a leadership role. They are often defined by their role as a boss, but never for the right reasons.
10 Frank Barone Wouldn’t Even Give His Son A Break
Everybody Loves Raymond
Although fans don’t get to see Frank Barone at his old job in Everybody Loves Raymond, they see glimpses of his leadership style through projects. The former accountant is something of a workaholic, and he insists on staying busy in retirement.
As such, Frank takes his sons to war re-enactments and enlists their help in painting Ray and Debra’s house. He showed little to no concern for his sons’ safety, even ordering Robert to take down a wasp nest by himself. When the boys eventually learned Frank was fired from his job, it made sense.
9 Angela Never Stopped Harassing Peter
Since getting work at the Pawtucket Pat Brewery, Peter had been working under Angela for most of Family Guy. Almost every time Angela appeared in Family Guy, she harassed Peter at work, had little patience for him, and even tried to extort him.
Had Peter been more outraged, Angela likely would have been fired after a trip to HR. However, Peter took pity on his scandalous boss and found a way to make their professional relationship work. Angela’s antics were even played up to highlight the issue of workplace harassment and double standards in one episode.
8 Cartman Has Had Authority Far Too Often
Although he’s not legally old enough to run a business, South Park’s Cartman has managed to hold power over people more often than he should. His harebrained schemes typically rope in his school friends, but he sometimes even gets adults in on his projects.
Each of these instances has shown how incapable Cartman is. He has had jobs as a teacher, police officer, and talent manager. His terrible leadership was best displayed when he led a superhero team, as he abused his teammates and joined forces with the dark lord, Cthulhu.
7 Steinbrenner Was Strange And Unfair
Although Seinfeld showcased a number of bosses and dysfunctional workplaces for its characters, the most memorable is George’s job at the New York Yankees. Under George Steinbrenner’s leadership, George had no stability and had to deal with being relocated on a whim at one point.
George Steinbrenner would involve George in absurd plans for the business and send Geroge on random sidequests for his own personal needs. At one point, Steinbrenner even tried to have George committed to an institution when another of his bosses submitted an assignment in his name.
6 Leslie Knope Could Be Much Too Demanding Of Her Employees
Parks & Recreation
Parks and Recreation took the formula perfected by The Office and applied it to a small-town Parks and Recreation department and its staff. While the office was managed by Ron Swanson, Leslie Knope was actually calling the shots.
Leslie was the most overzealous boss imaginable. She insisted on perfection across the board, even where it wasn’t reasonable. She would ignore the suggestions of her employees and coworkers, even going so far as to belittle some pieces of advice. Though enthusiasm is good, she should have been more reasonable.
5 Sheldon Cooper Was A Human Resources Nightmare
The Big Bang Theory
In The Big Bang Theory’s sixth season, Sheldon officially became a boss. He hired an assistant named Alex on the flimsy suggestion that she might be able to help him with his research. However, Sheldon later made clear that he had no such intentions, and Alex was just there for his convenience.
Alex’s duties while working for Sheldon included reading his childhood journals, buying him a safety hat for a game, and buying his girlfriend Valentine’s Day gifts. The employment ended when Sheldon was inappropriate with Alex, which got him a trip to the Human Resources department.
4 Brian Lewis Has No Business Working In A School
Brian Lewis is the principal of Steve Smith’s high school, Pearl Bailey High, in the animated sitcom American Dad. While he can be terrible to his students, he’s just as bad with the teachers. He has been known to threaten, harass, and otherwise make life a misery for them.
In the American Dad episode “A Ward Show,” Brian had Steve handling his financials, including his taxes and credit cards. He gave Steve free rein in the teacher’s lounge to be aggressive toward the staff, and he even threatened them when they so much as rolled their eyes.
3 Malcolm Tucker Is Brutal
The Thick Of It
The best character in the BBC’s The Thick of It, Malcolm is the ruthless communications officer who works between 10 Downing Street and the ministers. Famous for being one of the most profane characters to ever hit TV screens, Malcolm used threats and intimidation to keep the office running.
Based on an exaggerated mash-up of real British political operatives, Malcolm would make life a living hell for anyone who isn’t doing the bidding of the Prime Minister or himself. Malcolm destroyed careers, sabotaged ambitions, and broke the law all in the name of political power.
2 Michael Scott Is Completely Out Of Touch
The Office is beloved by many for the relatable yet exaggerated antics of working life. The staff are under Michael Scott’s management, but he’s an eccentric and out-of-touch boss who runs things as he sees fit and can change rules on a dime.
Scott has put his employees through the wringer to satisfy his own personal whims, such as the poorly thought-out diversity day. Everything he did showed he had no tact, little common sense, and put no thought whatsoever into the wellbeing of his employees.
1 Montgomery Burns Sends Hounds After His Employees
A true nightmare boss and businessman, Montgomery Burns is the worst kind of employer. He sees all of his employees as disposable and believes the world should always accommodate him. He has no problem putting his workers at risk to make more money.
Mr. Burns isn’t just awful toward his employees, but he’s also a threat to the entire town of Springfield. From exposing his employees to lethal doses of radiation, risking a nuclear meltdown, to stripping employee benefits to save a buck, Burns is the worst boss someone could have.
NEXT: 10 Sitcom Characters Who Are Always The Voice Of Reason
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