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Labor Day Pains: Celebrating The Hardest Working Men and Women In Movies and TV

By Rob Payne | Lists | September 3, 2012 |

By Rob Payne | Lists | September 3, 2012 |

Not every national holiday here in the States is created equal, especially in valuations based on our pop culture entertainment. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will have themed episodes and movies every single year, without fail. New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day also get plenty of time in the winter sun, and Fourth of July and St. Patrick’s Day consistently offers fictional characters and real people a simple excuse to get drunk and make poor choices to hilarious or tragic effect. Stories are rarely set around Memorial or Veteran’s Day, but the entire genre of war movies that air in marathons on TBS may as well be dedicated to our armed services, anyway. Considering we’re the only modernized nation that still questions climate change and evolution, it probably isn’t surprising that Arbor Day and Earth Day probably get the worst treatment for holiday specials, unless you count The Happening. (But no one counts The Happening. For anything.)

But we also rarely see movies and TV shows that even mention Labor Day, much less focus their respective storylines around the extra vacation day for corporate 9-5ers. This might have something to do with the fact that early September is a near wasteland for film releases and too early for the new television season. But this is probably, mostly because there’s very little drama involved in worker’s getting the only thing they ever really want, which is to not have to come in to work. That said, there are plenty of examples in movies and TV that celebrate characters who labor until they can’t labor anymore. In honor of those of you who don’t get the day off, here are some of the best cinematic and televisual “labor intensive” scenes. Ahem.

Remember: Even if you’re at work, chances are your day could always be worse. Enjoy!


“The X-Files” - “Home”

The Matrix

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

(Go here if you’d prefer a less montagey clip that I couldn’t embed without issues.)

“Community” - “Applied Anthropology”

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He’s now ready to get back to his day of lounging and drinking before the sun goes down.