|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
I had two people say that to me today, "I'm going to have you fired." Go ahead, be my guest. I'm wearing a green velvet costume; it doesn't get any worse than this.—David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries
Sometimes, working as a Burger Fool just isn't embarrassing enough. Sometimes, the humiliation ante must be upped-- that's where this trope comes in. Where most part-time jobs are content with just making their employees wear a polo shirt and a nametag, this one adds some sort of embarrassing accessory: A stupid hat, a stupid shirt, or a really bad colour scheme. Some places take it further, making their employees wear a whole costume full of embarrassment. But whatever the case, the outfit makes the workers stand out, and makes the character wish they were dead.
Often in the form of a (not) Nice Hat at a restaurant, mainly a costume elsewhere. If the job is as a Mascot at an Amusement Park or Suck E. Cheese's, this is a given. Can overlap with No OSHA Compliance if the job involves cooking and the costume limits visibility, ability to grasp objects or has a tail.
Interestingly, one way to determine if your work clothes are tax-deductible is "if you'd be embarrassed to go to the bar in them".
- Two of the Free Credit Report Dot Com commercials have the band in pirate gear and renaissance faire wear respectively, singing about how they have to wear stupid shirts and sing stupid jingles in a restaurant to make ends meet because...their credit sucks...
- That yellow pages ad.
- In Skip Beat, the "Love Me" section of the LME talent agency is designed to let budding talents learn to love, but most of the time, they just end up doing menial tasks like cleaning an assistant work. The most infamous part of the section, however, is that members are forced to wear neon pink jumpsuits. At one point, Kyouko and Kanae even weaponize this by wearing their uniforms to an audition so that they stand out.
- Archie Comics has done it: Jughead once had a job as a flower delivery man, and had to dress up in a yellow shirt, cape, and metal helmet with wings (think Hermes). His friends were amused; he was not.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter works at a fast-food where he has to wear a frog hat. Bobby (Iceman) later joins him behind the counter when Aunt May forbids them from using their powers in public.
- She's All That: The falafel restaurant where Laney works forces her to wear this sad, limp falafel on her head.
- The seafood place where Judge Reinhold worked in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He had to wear a pirate hat and an eyepatch.
- Office Space, the ultimate example for the employees of Chotchkies. Not only is the uniform a theme-restaurant-style suspender-and-striped-vest abomination, but you are required to provide your OWN accessories. They call it 'flair'. And the boss isn't happy unless you're covered in flair. He refuses to set a minimum number on how much flair is enough flair: you must have more. The apparent par is thirty-seven, but that's just because that's how many pieces the man with the most pieces of flair has. This may be a Shout-Out to Kevin Smith's similarly countercultural service-industry movie Clerks.
- In Max Keeble's Big Move, Max's dad, an advertiser, is forced to wear embarrassing costumes to secure clients. Embarrassing like a giant chicken.
- In Better Off Dead, Lane had to wear a uniform that included a chef's hat with pig's ears with a matching nose.
- In West Bank Story both the employees of Hummus Hut and Kosher King wear hats displaying the food they sell, and well...see for yourself. Also, Kosher King has a mascot, a man dressed as a giant menorah.
- In M.Y.T.H. Inc in Action the army of Possiltum is a madhouse--which isn't so exotic in itself--but it features a big insult added to the injury:
The captain: Do you men know what an army that's growing as fast as ours needs the most?
Nunzio: A better tailor.
- In the Garrett P.I. series, private security guards tend to dress in uniforms of clashing and/or unsightly colors, a fact that Garrett is quite happy to draw readers' attention to in his narration.
- Family Matters: The Mighty Weenie has its workers don hats with hot dogs on them.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy's uniform at Doublemeat Palace is garishly red-and-white-striped and includes a hat with some weird grinning creature on its brim.
- "My hat has a cow in it."
- It was a half cow, half chicken thing. Hence the Doublemeat (well, that and the instant thought of... well, you know).
- Also, Xander's uniforms of all the jobs he worked after High School.
- One episode of Britcom The Worker starring Charlie Drake saw him forced to dress up as Daffodil Man in order to sell some product or other door-to-door.
- The German soap opera Verbotene Liebe once had Christian hand out pamphlets dressed as a tree and saying, "Ho ho ho!" which is apparently some kind of onomonopoeic German tree noise...
- Early on during Friends, Monica loses her job and after a few episodes of unemployment has no choice but to work at a 50's themed diner, where she has to wear a wig and Gag Boobs.
- Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has the Burger Shot uniform, which includes a gigantic hamburger hat, and the Clucking Bell, a full-body chicken suit (the latter employee coming off as more disgruntled.)
- Goth Boy suffers this in My Sims Agents, manning the Turkey on a Fork kiosk at the beach.
- You can get one of these for a Sidequest in Bully. While man will mock you for the outfit, it's hard to tell from the general derision that's put on Jimmy.
- When working at Megagamers, Piro from Megatokyo has to wear the most ridiculous cosplay outfits, depending on Erika's mood.
- Homestuck's Jack Noir, an agent of the mysterious Black Queen (and in-universe Expy of fan favorite Spades Slick), is continually forced to wear ludicrous costumes in accordance with the Queen's royal garb and the rest of her peons.
- In this strip of Loserz, Jodie has to wear a chicken costume.
- Schlock Mercenary: you don't know the meaning of bad uniform until you're forced to wear a wig, a mustache, and buck teeth while serving authentic Hong-Kong-Tex-Mex.
- In this strip of Girls with Slingshots, Thea gets a job as an arena hot dog vendor and has to wear a hot dog-shaped hat. No wonder she doesn't want to tell her roommate Hazel what she now does for a living.
- 6teen: Caitlin gets this worst; the Big Squeeze requires employees to wear half a lemon on their head.
- Jimmy Neutron actually dressed up as a literal Burger Fool in "Men at Work"
- The episode "Trading Faces" has a one liner about this. Even though we never see the characters actually wear the outfit, we do see the hat. It has a hot dog sticking out of each side like a pair of antlers:
Jimmy (In Cindy's body): And uh, by the way, you start tomorrow at "Hank's Weenie Barn." Here's your weenie.
- Phineas and Ferb: Jeremy works at Mr. Slushy Burger, which requires him to wear a goofy little pink hat with a hot dog on it. Candace has gone through more than one mall job requiring a dopey outfit and/or hat. A particularly memorable one being a Perry outfit in "Toy to the World".
Jeremy: The things they make us wear. At least you don't have a weiner on your head.
- In "Girl of Steal" on My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny puts on a stupid hat for each job she has: fast food girl, toy shelf stocker and shoe salesbot. There's another cartoon where she wears a messenger outfit.
- Virgil had a literal Burger Fool outfit too on Static Shock.
- In Danny Phantom the job uniform at Nasty Burger is pretty low key, but the bug mascot is a humiliating outfit for the person who wears it.
- Lenny and Boog, the two guys who work at the Frosty Mart on Fanboy and Chum Chum have low key outfits, but their hats have big Frosty Freezy Freezes on them.
- On The Simpsons Barney had a job once where he was on the street handing out coupons for a baby store clad only in a diaper. In the middle of winter. Then the wind blew his diaper off. Then as he was chasing after it his mom showed up.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Employees of the Krusty Krab normally just have a little sailor hat for a uniform, but the time Pearl took over and turned it into a hip teenage hangout, she had everyone wear pink leotards with K-shaped deely-bobs. Squidward found them thoroughly humiliating; SpongeBob, of course, loved them.
- Spongebob was, however, humiliated when Pearl forced him to stand outside in a Crab mascot costume.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Robositter: The pink-colored uniforms Shake and Frylock have to wear at Slurp-a-Lunch.
- Given an interesting twist in one episode of Doug. Making fun of the guy in the burger suit outside Honker Burger is pretty much a Bluffington tradition, but eventually Doug learns that it's his next-door neighbor Mr. Dink. In order to help out, Doug fills in for him and gains new respect for Dink after witnessing the "playful" teasing from the other end. He also gets people respect the "burger man" by saving a drowning child thanks in part to the costume's buoyancy.
- In the Disney series Hercules,Hercules's sheep uniform when he works in a restaurant.
- In King of the Hill episode "Life in the Fast Lane", Bobby gets a food vendor job at the race track employed by jerkass idiot boss, Jimmy Wichard. While one kid refuses to wear a hot dog costume, Bobby is willing to wear it when trying to be more efficient. He gets pelted by spectators with food and drink cups.
- In Stoked!, the waitresses in the resort dining room have to wear pirate wench outfits.
- In Mission Hill, after losing his job, Andy briefly has a job as a mascot for an ice cream shop, standing on a median on a busy street.
- Do you have those 1-800-GOT-JUNK? people in your city? Chances are, you've seen them advertise by having employees dress up in blue jumpsuits and clown wigs and dance around busy intersections.
- At tax time, you often see people standing out on street corners, waving to cars, dressed as Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam.
- In at least one town, they decided to mix it up by having girls be Uncle Sam and guys be Lady Liberty. Of course, many people may consider this even more embarrassing than the non-Cross Dresser version.
- Subverted with this troper. She had to dress as Lady Liberty but it was the best job she ever had. She'd still be there if she hadn't been forced to quit for health reasons.
- In a similar vein, a guy dressed in a roach costume, extra arms and all, advertising a pest control service.
- The waitresses at Hooters restaurants, who are given a very strict dress code on what hairstyles, make up, and jewelry is and isn't appropriate with the Hooters experience.
- Southwestern U.S. has a chain called El Pollo Loco, a chicken joint whose advertisements are distributed by grown men in full-body yellow-feathered chicken costumes. Fun trivia: El Pollo Loco was Brad Pitt's first "acting" gig.
- At least one pizza restaurant here in the Twin Cities had one employee dress up as Luigi and hold a sign for the restaurant. However since the girl doing it is a cosplayer she absolutely loved the job. The rest of her co-workers thought that doing it was this trope.
- Any time a Halloween costume store opens up, chances are there'll be someone in one kind of costume or another dancing around with a sign out front.
- Many "WE BUY GOLD!" places do this. One local place has someone waving a sign on a street corner wearing a gold leaf top hat, face paint, and suit.