This month we’ve been covering the topic of tidying up—our homes, our emotions, our lives on the whole. From material possessions to mental clutter, we’ve asked readers to reflect on (and, ideally, get rid of) anything that isn’t serving them anymore.
This idea of decluttering extends to relationships, too—ridding your life of any romantic partner, friend, or job that isn’t (and maybe never has been) good for you. In this spirit of saying goodbye and starting fresh, team Wit & Delight recently got to talking about related moments in pop culture—climactic scenes in film and TV when someone (finally) said good riddance to a person or job that had only been weighing them down. We thought we’d put together a post sharing all of the take no shit moments we love most. See all of our responses below.
Film: Working Girl
Moment: When Tess gets her new job in Working Girl and realizes she finally MADE IT. And then decides to treat her new assistant with the dignity and transparency she never got from Katherine. Gives me goosebumps! She’s the hero of her own story and you watch her follow her instincts, doubt herself, but always stay true to her values. This is one of my all-time favorite movies to watch when I need to find the energy to push past self-doubt!
Show: Mad Men
Moment: When Peggy Olson quits her job at the agency.
I hope one day to look this badass leaving a job.
Film: The Devil Wears Prada
Moment: When Andie quits at the end of the film.
I once worked for a creative (who shall not be named) who was incredibly reminiscent of Miranda Priestly (I was asked on more than one occasion “where that note I wrote down that one day was”). After working endless hours, while constantly on edge, glued to my phone, and hoping to not get yelled at for months, I quit. Watching Andie throw her phone into the fountain towards the end of the movie was incredibly satisfying (and relatable). My own exit was far less dramatic.
Film: Legally Blonde
Moment: When Elle Woods thinks Warner is proposing to her and instead breaks up with her in the middle of a restaurant before heading off to Harvard Law School, arguing that he needs a more serious woman in order to fulfill his political aspirations. Instead of accepting her ex-boyfriend’s condescending comments, Elle decides to enroll in Harvard Law in hopes of winning Warner back, proving his criticisms to be untrue.
Elle quickly learns that the rest of the cohort at Harvard is much different from her and makes it her mission to prove herself by studying long hours and using her knowledge to help others along the way.
The movie ends with Elle giving the graduation speech following her two years at Harvard, while Warner graduates with no honors, job offers, or girlfriend. I love this breakup in particular, because instead of moping around and feeling bad for herself after getting dumped, Elle takes matters into her own hands and works her tail off to get into Harvard, an accomplishment many thought she’d never achieve. She then uses her pain and anger to fuel her to work even harder, continuing to prove those who doubted her wrong.
Film: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Moment: When Hermione Granger punches Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban… So. Good. Draco and his posse were making fun of Hagrid right around the time that he had to say goodbye to Buckbeak the Hippogriff (which was only happening BECAUSE of Draco), and Hermione had no patience for it! She pulled her wand on him at first, but when they were walking away and Draco continued to mouth off, BAM. Yes, yes, violence is not the answer but this was pretty badass, and I remember being 12 years old and replaying that scene over and over (and over).
Film: She’s the Man
Moment: When Viola Hastings is dressed up as her brother and breaks up with his terrible girlfriend who has an entitled attitude towards everyone, saying, “When I close my eyes, I see you for what you truly are, which is UGLY.”
Film: The Holiday
Moment: When Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, finally tells Jasper she is done being in love with him because he is the worst.
Film: He’s Just Not That Into You
Moment: When Jennifer Connelly (Janine) finds Bradley Cooper’s (Ben) pack of cigarettes and finally realizes how long and consistently she’s been lied to. She throws all of his clothes around the room, shatters a mirror, cleans it all up, and leaves. I love that she gets this moment of anger release but then leaves his clothes neatly folded on the staircase with a carton of cigarettes and a note asking for a divorce. Pretty badass if you ask me.
Film: You’ve Got Mail
Moment: When Joe Fox sits down at Kathleen Kelly’s table and starts mocking her choice of reading material—Pride and Prejudice—as she waits on a date to arrive, and she finally tells him off. She says, bitingly, “You’ve deluded yourself into thinking that you’re some sort of benefactor bringing books to the masses, but no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox…you are nothing but a suit.” Granted—and, spoiler alert!!, for this now 20-year-old movie I hope you’ve all seen by now—they do get together in the end of the film, but I still love this scene where Kathleen finally gets her moment of vindication to tell Joe exactly how she feels about him steamrolling over her business.
What is your favorite breakup from a film or TV show? We’d LOVE to hear your answer in the comments!
BY Jackie Saffert - April 27, 2019
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.