Work, fail, work, repeat: The worst first days in movie history

That dreaded first day on the job could always be worse…

We promise your day isn’t as bad as the ones these poor folks had
(Credit, left to right: Orion Pictures, Warner Bros, Fox 2000, StudioCanal)

Starting a new job is just the worst, especially on your first day. It can be tricky to settle into a new place with new people, and there’s always a weird knot in the pit of your stomach that absolutely refuses to go away no matter how many deep breaths you take. Still, for most of us the day goes by without a hitch – and besides, things could always be worse, as these movies go to show.

Paddington, Paddington 2 (2017)


Everyone loves Paddington (apart from Mr Curry, that is), but the little bear just isn’t cut out for London’s working world. In order to earn some money to buy a birthday present for his Aunt Lucy, he gets himself a job in a barber’s shop. Cue razor-based shenanigans that result in poor Paddington accidentally shaving a customer’s head, trying to stick the loose hair back to said head with marmalade, and inadvertently causing the sprinkler system to drench the whole shop before he’s fired on the spot. Not an ideal start to the young bear’s working life.

2/5 burnt kernels

Andy Sachs, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)


Andy’s first day at Runway fashion mag may not be the worst on this list, but it’s definitely the most relatable. New boss Miranda Priestly is an utter tyrant, absolutely refusing to get Andy’s name right and ridiculing her constantly for her less-than-stellar fashion sense. She also seems positively offended by Andy’s choice of footwear (which, in fairness, is a horrible pair of slip-ons), and even goes so far as to call the poor girl fat – despite her being stick-thin already! If Andy didn’t have an inferiority complex when she entered the office that morning, she certainly did on her way out.

3/5 burnt kernels

Alex Murphy, Robocop (1987)


It’s hard to imagine a worse first day than being out on a routine police patrol in a new city, following a gang of criminals to an abandoned industrial site, being slowly and brutally shot to death, then being reconstructed as a cyborg with no sense of your former identity. And yet that’s what happens to poor Alex Murphy on his first day as a Detroit police officer, setting in motion a battle to reclaim his soul before the police force is bought out by a national conglomerate. It’s not every day you leave for work a human and come back home a cyborg; pretty rough, all things considered.

4/5 burnt kernels

Bill Cage, Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


What’s worse than one bad first day? Thousands of them. Military public relations officer Major Bill Cage suddenly finds himself demoted and forced onto the front line of a war against a race of alien invaders. Oh, and he has no prior combat experience. And is killed almost immediately. And then wakes up at the beginning of the previous day, and is forced to relive his death over and over again with no end in sight. Poor Bill: as bad as some first days at a new job might be, I think we can all agree that repeating them endlessly makes for a much, much worse experience.

5/5 burnt kernels