Office life is filled with the mundane. Yet, tt can also be a place of learning—and many of its lessons, hilarious! As a businessperson and a movie fan, I have compiled my favorite movie scenes that capture the sometime absurdity of business on film.
Here are my top ten office movie scenes in no particular order.
Office Space (1999): “Lumbergh’s TPS Reports” Scene
Office Space celebrates the mundane quality of working life. It doesn’t matter what a TPS Report is except that it represents meaningless everyday work.
American Psycho (2000): “Business Card Competition” Scene
There was a day when business cards were ubiquitous and in the 80s they all looked the same. This captures that era so well.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) “Coffee’s for Closers” Scene
I don’t believe there is a salesperson in this world who doesn’t know this line. To me this scene made Alec Baldwin a comedic legend. Here Baldwin gives us a new meaning to learning our ABCs: Always Be Closing.
Moneyball (2011) “Identifying the Problem with the Baseball Scouts” Scene
There will never be enough money in business to solve all of our problems. What is needed is the dedication necessary to identify real problems and the creativity required to solve them.
Tommy Boy (1995) “Killing the Sale” Scene
Every salesperson can recall a time when they failed to close a sale. This scene is one of those times, even as Tommy Boy is describing to his friend how he “sucks as a salesman.” Nevertheless, his friend comes to see what works naturally for Tommy instead of trying to be something he is not. This scene always provides a great laugh to spice up a sales team meeting.
Apollo 13 (1995) “Failure is Not An Option” Scene
Under difficult circumstances, we need a leader to push us to a place where we are driven to find the best solutions. Someone that drives us to new levels of creativity that we may never have experienced before.
Dr. Strangelove (1964) “No Fighting in the War Room” Scene
Even the top leaders have their worse moments under pressure.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) “You know, For Kids” Hula Hoop Scene
I wish every CEO would demonstrate their new products like Tim Robbins does with a hula hoop.
The Big Kahuna (1999) “Character and Honesty” Scene
In business, there are always temptations to cut ethical corners. This scene cuts to the core of that struggle. I think it is one of Danny DeVito’s finest performances.
Up in the Air (2009) “How Much Did They Pay You To Give Up On Your Dreams” Scene
Worst Sales Pitches Ever: This is a fun mashup of the worst sales pitches ever from Garden State to Tommy Boy. Enjoy!
What are you favorite business movie scenes. What made you laugh? What did you learn?