There are plenty of TV bosses that are fun to watch. They fumble around trying to lead their teams and usually mess tons of stuff up. It’s great television! But, to be honest, most TV bosses would be a nightmare to actually work for. Think about all the problematic, nepotism-inclined, negligent bosses on TV. There are a lot. Most of the stuff these bosses do would never fly in a real workplace and we can’t believe their fake employees actually put up with some of this stuff!
Honestly, there are very few TV bosses that are actually capable and skilled at their jobs. How did these people even get hired to lead companies and teams?! We have no idea. But we do know that we would never want to work for them. Here are some of the worst TV bosses of all time that make our real bosses seem a little better!
1. Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants
We know Spongebob (Tom Kenny) loves his job at the Krusty Krab, but we would never put up with the abuse he gets from his boss! Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) is the stingiest, greediest, and most ill-mannered boss in the deep blue sea. He will do anything and everything to cut corners and save money, often to the detriment of his employees and customers. Krabs also never shies away from yelling at his staff and placing unrealistic expectations on them. He literally cares about nothing but the almighty dollar and instead of making him a business savvy boss, it makes him a real jerk!
2. Dr. Bob Kelso from Scrubs
Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins) is the chief of medicine for Sacred Heart Hospital, but he really shouldn’t be anywhere near ailing patients! He’s cynical, rude, and clearly doesn’t care about his patients’ well-being. He treats the doctors and nurses in the hospital like just a “pair of scrubs” and not real people, using them to make the hospital’s bottom line and give him his comfortable lifestyle. There is no compassion in the man (at least not until later seasons) when it comes to not only his staff but the people who need help within his hospital. Working for someone like that in a profession aimed at helping people would be as bad as it gets!
3. Louie DePalma from Taxi
The thing about DePalma (Danny DeVito) is that he knows he’s a horrible boss and revels in it! As the head dispatcher for the Sunshine Cab Company, DePalma regularly spends time arguing with and bullying the drivers. He’s also as morally corrupt as they come and instead of finding shame in his past actions, he’s proud of them… boasting his pretty crimes! He will do anything that will benefit himself, including stealing from the company. Oh, and he almost (almost?!?!?!) got fired for peeping on an employee while she was changing! This guy is an all-around selfish piece of work and low-key predator who has no place being in charge of anyone!
4. Ari Gold from Entourage
Ari (Jeremy Piven) is a high profile Hollywood Agent — and a giant douchebag. He continually lies to his client (and supposed friend) Vince (Adrian Grenier) about things so that he won’t lose his main money-maker. He goes through assistants like water and constantly bashes people based on race and sexuality. Oh, and he loves to brag about conquests and successes that are totally fake. It should be no surprise that a Hollywood agent would be so toxic to work for (you know, if you spend longer than a week at his assistant desk) but Ari really takes the cake as a Hollywood honcho who things he’s the best.
5. Malory Archer from Archer
Malory (Jessica Walter) is the former head of ISIS (not that ISIS), she’s a woman with superb business acumen, and one of the most selfish people on the planet. The way she treats her employees is by barking orders and letting her venomous disdain be known. She cares about none of them as people (except maybe her son, though she was an incredible inattentive parent!) and only sees them as a way to make money. So when it’s revealed that her spy organization ISIS wasn’t licensed to do any of the spy work they did, she used her staff for the next best thing: drug smuggling. Oh Malory, you cold-hearted witch.
6. Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty
Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) would do anything to be Editor-in-Chief of MODE. Literally anything. When she’s thwarted for the promotion the first time in favor of publisher-son Daniel (Eric Mabius), she spends basically every waking moment trying to destroy him. She treats her assistant like garbage and uses him to further her plans for promotion. And when she finally does get her promotion, she’s quickly demoted back to Creative Director due to falling sales. So not only does she not treat her staff or those around her well, she can’t even do her job properly!
7. George Bluth Sr. from Arrested Development
George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) is bad at a lot of things. Being a father, a boss, and an all-around decent person are just some of them. He’s the patriarch and boss to his children and, oh boy, is he the worst ever. He stole tons of money from his company and built houses in Iraq for Saddam Hussien to make some extra cash. He was arrested eventually and briefly imprisoned before escaping and faking his death — thus leaving his employees and children with the ruins of his company as he lived on the lam! Not to mention that many of his “great” business ideas were dangerous, self-serving, or stolen from someone else!
8. Patty Hewes from Damages
Hewes (Glenn Close) is a brilliant and assertive lawyer — and also a master manipulator and a would-be murderer. Let’s count all the ways she F’s up her employee Ellen’s (Rose Byrne) life. She tries to have her murdered when she sees her as a liability. She plays games with her head for years concerning this exact thing. And she eventually forces Ellen to abandon her career in law altogether. She is psychotically obsessed with winning cases, even putting her loved ones in danger to do so. In the end, her scheming and manipulation leaves her all alone because everyone realizes what a nightmare she is to work with!
9. Buck Strickland from King of the Hill
Buck (Stephen Root) is a fairly standard crappy TV boss. He treats his employees with little care, will do anything to meet his bottom line, and has let his extracurricular activities seep into his work life. Strickland lost the passion he once had for his propane business and his other endeavors and instead prefers to seduce younger women, drink, and do drugs as opposed to worrying about his employees and companies. He’s just plain negligent and counts on them to keep things afloat. This is one lazy boss I wouldn’t put the work in for!
10. Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock
Sure, Jack (Alec Baldwin) has superior business skills and the ability to get whatever he wants but he isn’t necessarily a good boss. He only takes interest in one of his employees — Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) — and basically ignores the rest. Most of his schemes and tactics are at the expense of those who work for him, and he doesn’t care as long as he gets richer and more successful! But the truly weird thing about Jack is how his only concern as a boss is Liz’s The Girly Show, an under-performing sketch comedy show that doesn’t even bring NBC or GE in big money! Sure, it’s the entire basis of the show, but dang man, maybe you should give your other employees some attention?!
11. Mr. Burns from The Simpsons
A boss so bad an entire town had reasons to shoot him. Mr. Burns (Harry Shearer) is a by-the-numbers businessman more concerned with his wealth and power than his employees’ comfort. He doesn’t even remember most of their names! He’s constantly giving villainous glances, doing horrible things, and releasing hounds on people. Yup, literally releasing the hounds on anyone he may choose. His power and wealth allow him to do whatever he wants to his employees and treat people any old way. He’s truly the greediest man in all of Springfield!
12. Tony Soprano from The Sopranos
While Tony (James Gandolfini) was seen as a decent mob boss, in reality, we wouldn’t have wanted to work for him! Under his rule, there was complete unevenness within the organization and plenty of people got whacked for their troubles. Tony has a vicious temper and he’s never afraid to unleash on his enforcers and criminal employees. Even those who are his family members aren’t immune to his emotional, hot-headed rule over his criminal organization. Sure, it kept him in a nice house with plenty of money, but it left those who worked for him plenty broken by the end of the TV series.
13. Gordon Ramsay from Hell’s Kitchen
Not only is Ramsay a TV boss but a real boss as well. As the ringleader on his reality show about aspiring chefs, Ramsay is as abusive, belligerent, and unsupportive as it comes. He regularly shouts insults at his competing chefs as they run the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant on a nightly basis. Ramsay has no qualms about making the chefs feel uncomfortable or like failures. He actually seems to prefer that they feel like crap! While it’s mostly a tactic for the chefs to realize and live up to their true potential, it’s also super toxic behavior. We know we wouldn’t be able to work in that environment!
14. Don Draper from Mad Men
Don (Jon Hamm) may be a brilliant ad salesman but we wouldn’t want to work for him. Okay, maybe we would considering he’s hot! But, aside from that, he’s a pretty terrible boss. He demeans everyone around him and often steals ideas and passes them off as his own. He makes his own hours and shows up to work basically whenever he damn pleases. Don is inconsistent and flaky, and while he always turns up with a good idea, it’s usually a result of some unhealthy extracurriculars and the expense of his employees.
15. Dina from Superstore
Dina (Lauren Ash) is the perfect example of a TV boss who thinks she’s more important than she is. As the Assistant Store Manager at Cloud 9, she takes a no-nonsense approach to leading that actually just makes her seem like a power-hungry crazy person. She barks orders, creates messes for her staff to clean up, and actually once refused to pay an employee for the few hours he worked after forgetting the clock in. She loves being in charge and uses it to her advantage at every turn. No one on TV takes advantage of her employees more than this lady! Deep down she’s good-hearted, but at work? Stay away from this horrible boss.
16. Michael Scott from The Office
Everyone loves The Office but let’s be honest — Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is a horrible boss. Like, the worst. He thinks he’s the “World’s Best Boss” but we’re pretty sure all of his employees would say the opposite. He constantly harasses those below him, shows completely upside down views about race, religion, and sex in the workplace, and he even fake fires people for laughs. What a psycho! He’s horrible at confrontation and making decisions (not the best qualities in a manager tbh), so he passes off work constantly and then shifts the blame whenever possible. As a TV character Michael Scott is amazing and hilarious. As a boss, he’s the worst there is!