5 Funny Movies About Working in the Service Industry

Nobody grinds harder — or more hilariously — than these frontline workers
5 Funny Movies About Working in the Service Industry

There’s no one braver in this country than the men and women who get up every day to work in the service industry. Whether it’s food service, retail or hospitality, they’re forced to deal with the nastiest people complaining about the most trivial things, all while having to adhere to the “customer is always right” mentality” (and making minimum wage).

It should be a mandatory rite of passage for everyone to work at least one service industry job. But for those lucky enough not to have experienced the glory of toiling in the service industry, these movies provide a very real (and often very funny) glimpse into what it’s like to deal with the public on a daily basis…

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

While not expressly about the service industry, Judd Apatow’s bawdy sex comedy still does an excellent job of showing what it’s like to work at a big-box retail store — particularly in regard to how fast secrets can spread amongst chatty co-workers. As Andy’s quest to lose his virginity unfurls, the film also tackles the unruly work/life balance of a stock supervisor at a store like Best Buy.


Just about every aspect of working in a restaurant is cutthroat: the clientele, the critics, the bosses. Without the help of good co-workers, restaurant life can be a recipe for disaster. Still, even with supportive co-workers, constant disagreements with his boss and a viral argument with a food critic leaves Jon Favreau’s titular chef without a job. But losing his unsatisfying gig opens up the opportunity for a funny and heartwarming journey of self-discovery as he pursues running a food truck on his own terms with the help of his son. 

Support the Girls

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Hooters, you know that the wings are hardly the object of anyone’s desire. Andrew Bujalski’s Support the Girls follows a breastaurant manager played by Regina Hall who will stop at nothing to protect her girls from handsy patrons and casual misogyny.


One of the best examinations of the relationship between the proletariat and bourgeois isn’t from some hard-to-decipher scholarly journal but rather a little comedy about golf. Caddyshack hilariously draws the line between the rich people who make up the Bushwood Country Club and the hardworking employees who keep the exclusive club running day-to-day. 


Not usually bound to the typical Monday-through-Friday grind, service industry workers often look forward to their random day off in the middle of the week, a brief period of rest and rejuvenation. But for Dante Hicks, a New Jersey gas station clerk, his midweek respite is upended by having to cover a shift for a sick coworker that turns his day off into an assortment of altercations with unruly customers, a bitter health department rep and a pair of drug-dealing shoplifters you may affectionately know as Jay and Silent Bob. The film is the perfect encapsulation of the hell that exists from behind a cash register.

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