5 Fictional Characters Who Would Suck at Their Jobs in the Real World

As a society we have a knack for creating fictional characters; comic book heroes, historical myths, and notable literature characters. They are, at least on the most part, completely unique and we love to engage with them and maybe even imagine what it would be like to live in their world.

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In our willingness to escape our reality, rarely do we imagine what it would be like if they were to live in our world, our reality. What if we had to work alongside our superheroes and fictional characters, and what if they had to do their jobs in our reality? The five characters in the list below would definitely have a hard time adjusting to our harsh reality, and they would have an even harder time at keeping their jobs.

1. James Bond

I know what you might be thinking. James Bond doesn’t live in an imaginary city, rather, he supposedly lives in our world, so why would he have trouble?

Well firstly, his job is no piece of cake; he’s in a very dangerous job. Basically his job description entails of him getting shot at by professionals and him dodging the bullets in an equally professional manner. Though all these might be jolly to watch, we doubt that James would be so good at dodging projectiles heading towards him at a speed faster than sound (i.e. as soon as you hear the shot, you’ve already been hit). It’s not quite so easy. Even when he’s not being shot at, his job often includes dangerous activities such as hang-gliding, abseiling, driving speedboats, generally some life-threatening pursuit. We doubt that this amount of adrenaline would be healthy for James.

The second thing of note is all his liaisons with the fairer sex. James Bond has been written about for decades, way before contraception and birth control became readily available. With all his dalliances, James Bond must have enough illegitimate children to fill a football stadium. Yet we never hear anything about them. Does he not care about them? Maybe he chooses to ignore them to protect himself or them from the various super-villains that are after him? Our wildest guess is that he was sterilised by the British Government to avoid this from happening. And it’s safe to say that in the real world, it’d be illegal for the government to sterilize a British citizen.

And when you really come to think about it, James Bond is a terrible spy. According to everything we know, a good spy should remain relatively hidden and nobody should know of him. However, James Bond has made a name for himself and he has never managed to stay incognito. So how can he be good at his job when every super-villain is after him?

Maybe, if James Bond lived in our reality his boss would think twice before making him a field agent. He might have been better off just working behind a desk, pushing paper and trying to make his stats look good.

2. Santa Claus

The important thing to remember about Santa Claus is that his entire toy manufacturing facility is possible because of the existence of magic and elves. The toys are created magically, he delivers them magically, and the elves are certainly faerie folk, otherwise they’d be on strike every other day. If Santa was in our reality he could be the chief exec of a major toy company certainly, but that would be it. He’d just be another Chief Exec of a toy company. And everything would be horribly mundane. On the run up to Christmas Santa would be more worried about advertising campaigns, stock prices and demographics than whether a child is good or bad.

His factory would likely have to move, as Lapland does not have the transportation network for a successful manufacturing plant. Plus, as Santa gets most of his money from people visiting Lapland and there have been less and less visitors of late, Santa would likely face bankruptcy. Santa would now owe about £140,000 in back taxes, and without any other income to speak of, his toy factory in Lapland would soon be repossessed and all his workers laid off.

Santa Claus is definitely better off in his own magical reality.

3. Batman

Batman the superhero? Ok, millions of comic books fans just cleared their throats ready to correct me. I know Batman isn’t a superhero, he has no special powers given to him by mutation, magic, or otherworldly powers. Batman is a completely ordinary man. An ordinary man with huge amounts of cash and his own Research and Development company to assist him but other than that he’s got nothing out of the ordinary going for him.

But if Bruce Wayne lived in the real world and not in Gotham, he would have to face an audit at some point. And let’s face it, no way a company in this day and age could spend millions of dollars on research for just one person and get away with it. Someone would be asking questions and would want to know where that money went. Sure, they could get away with hiding it for the first few months, maybe years but not indefinitely.

And it’s not just that. How long would it be before someone discovered his true identity? In all of his crime-fighting, wouldn’t he at least once leave one hair or one drop of blood, a skin cell that could be DNA traced to him? And he would definitely have to have his DNA taken for insurance purposes, so before long, good old Bruce would be found out. He would be arrested for vigilantism (because it’s not legal to hunt –and kill- bad guys) which could send stock prices plummeting, leading to an eventual buyout, which would likely instantly shut down the R&D department or they would be forced to sell tech to the military.

Bruce, you’d better stay in Gotham. We have our own superheroes, like Bill Gates.

4. Sherlock Holmes

Whether you take the original Arthur Conan Doyle version or one of the modern remakes, Sherlock Holmes is another person whose job would not be so easy in our reality. In the books, films and TV series, Sherlock Holmes is asked by the very rich or famous, to provide answers to very baffling cases that the police are just not qualified to figure out.

However, if Sherlock lived in our world, occurrences of these types of crimes would be so few and rare that in order for Sherlock Holmes to make ends meet he would have to do what every other Private Detective does in his situation: take on any and all cases he could. Sherlock Holmes would be investigating adulterous husbands, and missing dogs far more often than missing diamonds for duchesses and sightings of ghost hounds.

If Sherlock Holmes lived in our world, he would eventually have to give up his freelance career and end up in a government Think Tank or as a Corporate Problem Solver. Not a particularly glamorous role for such an eminent detective.

5. Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson
Simpson Family

It’s fairly obvious why this guy should by on the list. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t many characters from Springfield who would manage for very long in our reality but Homer Simpson as you might expect is one of the better cases.

Homer works as a Safety Inspector in a Nuclear Power plant. This is clearly a joke based on how inept he is and how, even in his reality he keeps messing up. Now let’s transpose poor old Homer to our world, where a woefully inept, undertrained, under-qualified and dare I say stupid person is put into a situation where he is responsible for large amounts of atomic energy.

If we were lucky, his lack of ability would be caught out and he could be removed from his position before anything dangerous happened. In the worst case, we could be looking at a nuclear meltdown, leading to huge amounts of people being affected by the radiation, cancer, sterility, and abnormalities.

However, his lack of intelligence plus his accident prone nature would probably mean Homer Simpson would meet his end before he even got to work on his first day. Scarcely an episode of The Simpsons goes by, that Homer doesn’t get run over, or fall off a cliff, or jam a crayon up his nose, or run into a solid bronze boxing glove, or any of the other ways he accidentally or deliberately harms himself. Then there’s the fact that his liver and heart would give way from too much bad food and drink. It’s better for everyone if Homer stays in Springfield.

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So there you have it. Next time you feel the slightest sympathy for a fictional character after they’ve been beaten to a pulp, or had their fortress attacked, just remember how much more difficult it could be for them here. We may not have super-villains and death rays but we do have auditors, Health and Safety regulations and STDs, would they be any better off here?