The 5 worst fictional bosses

At one point or another we have all complained about our boss, but when comparing them to the villainous fictional employers we love to hate in our favourite films and television programmes, we should think ourselves lucky! From the manipulative bully to the boss from hell, films and television programmes provide us with many examples of characters we certainly would not want as our boss.

Here are some film and TV characters who made our list of the worst fictional bosses:

1. Charles Montgomery Burns – The Simpsons
Mr Burns is best known as the evil owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant and Homer Simpson’s boss. He is greedy, power hungry and will do anything to increase his wealth. When he’s not running Springfield’s energy plant and forgetting his employee’s names he can be found drilling for oil under the Springfield elementary school or building a machine to block out the sun!

2. Ebenezer Scrooge – A Christmas Carol
It could be argued that Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is the most notoriously horrible, thoughtless boss ever written! He is a cold-hearted, penny-pinching and greedy man who hates Christmas and treats Bob Cratchit unfairly and with little respect. He is selfish and money obsessed and goes out of his way to get as much of it as he can whilst barely paying his employees.

3. Miranda Priestly – The Devil Wears Prada
Miranda Priestly is the fictional editor-in-chief of Runway magazine in The Devil Wears Prada. Meryl Streep plays the character of Miranda Priestly as one of the most impossible bosses you could ever imagine working for! She is arrogant, demanding, demeaning and makes requests that are impossible to fulfil, everything you wouldn’t want your boss to be. She has an icy demeanor and bullies her personal assistants while surrounding herself with “Yes Men” who only bolster her false sense of self-righteousness.

4. David Brent – The Office
David Brent’s approach to management is to be a friend first and boss second. However, his qualities as a boss are much to be desired! The erratic boss in British comedy The Office is often seen dancing around, offending people, being politically incorrect and believing that he is in the running to be the next chief executive of Microsoft. When telling his employees of impending redundancies, he said: “Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs…I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I’ve been promoted. So, every cloud…”

5. Basil Fawlty – Fawlty Towers
Basil Fawlty is the hotel owner in British television comedy Fawlty Towers. He is an incompetent, narrow-minded, control-freak who has delusions of grandeur. When things start to go wrong Basil usually takes out his frustrations on Manuel, the unfortunate Spanish waiter. Manuel is subjected to a pummelling on a regular basis. Basil’s man-management skills are called into question when he shouts comments at Manuel like; “Manuel, you’re a waste of space,” and “Manuel, THIS…is a smack.”

Who would top your list of the worst fictional bosses?

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She blogs about food here: and tweets about food here: @misshana_. She squeezes in time for graduate careers advice and commuting rants too.