Bridget Jones loudly declared she'd rather have a job "wiping Saddam Hussein's arse" when she quit, Jerry Maguire took the office goldfish and Lester Burnham blackmailed his boss into giving him a year's salary.
The lead characters from Bridget Jones's Diary, Jerry Maguire and American Beauty showed the world how to quit a job.
In recent years dramatic and strange resignations have made their way from the big screen to real life, in the form of viral videos, red-faced politicians, venomous open letters and even a New York Times op-ed.
Here are some of the best "I quit" moments:
Music filled the air the moment US man Joey DeFrancesco quit a job he loathed.
That's because he brought a brass band along to play exit music as he triumphantly walked out on his boss at the Providence Renaissance Hotel in Rhode Island.
The "Joey Quits" YouTube video showing Mr DeFrancesco and the band confronting his boss was posted online late last year and has now been viewed more than three million times.
"I worked in that hotel for three-and-a-half years and it's just terrible, terrible working conditions," Mr DeFrancesco told Britain's Independent Television News.
"Kind of the situation in hotels across the US.
"I was part of a lot of my co-workers that were fighting back against management, we were forming a union.
"So I knew that when I was leaving that I had to give one big last shot at management if I was going to give them the pleasure of getting rid of me.
"So I knew I needed to go out big."
"I would particularly like to apologise to my wife ..."
He was the valued treasurer in the WA government despite a history marked by chair-sniffing and bra-snapping.
But Troy Buswell was eventually forced to resign from the role in April 2010 after admitting he used government cars and hotel expenses to conduct an affair with married Greens MP Adele Carles.
He fronted the media to admit what he'd done.
"My lack of judgment in this matter has disappointed a great number of people who have stood by me during the highs and lows of my political career," he said.
"I would particularly like to apologise to my wife Margaret, to our boys and our extended families.
"I sincerely regret my actions and have sought professional assistance to help me with the personal work ahead of me."
When Buswell was opposition leader two years earlier, he tearfully admitted to sniffing the chair a female Liberal Party staffer had been sitting on in his office in 2005.
He also admitted snapping a Labor staffer's bra strap as a "party trick" and was accused of making sexist remarks to another MP.
Mr Buswell is now transport, housing and emergency services minister.
"Everybody wants to be a princess"
A resident of a town called Butler, US woman Teresa Cunningham was the ultimate royalist with memorabilia and royal trinkets lining her walls.
But her obsession reached a whole new level last year, when she quit her job to go to London for the royal wedding.
She told ABC news affiliate station KMBC that she took annual leave and booked tickets to go soon after Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement.
But her bosses later told her they couldn't afford to let her have the time off.
"Next thing you know they're telling me I can't go. There's no coverage ... and if you go, you're fired," she said.
"I turned in my resignation."
She decided not to reveal her former workplace when she spoke to the media, The Daily Mail reported.
"Everybody wants to be a princess.
"I've got a crown, yeah.
"I told my husband if I didn't come home, he would know to send money."
While many people simply hand a resignation letter to their boss, Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith published his in the New York Times.
In an op-ed last month Mr Smith wrote that the firm's culture and integrity had disappeared and his conscience would not allow him to work there any longer.
One particularly stinging line was: "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets' sometimes over internal e-mail."
He urged the company to see his article as a wake-up call and to weed out the "morally bankrupt" employees.
"People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm - or the trust of its clients - for very much longer."
But far from lining up to collect the dole, Mr Smith is believed to have landed a major book deal.
In 2324 words, a Whole Foods employee definitely got the message across.
The resignation letter apparently written by worker from Toronto, who stayed anonymous, went viral after being posted on popular blog Gawker last year.
"My experience at Whole Foods was like an increasingly sped up fall down a really long hill. That got rockier with every metre. And eventually, just really spiky ... with fire, acid and Nickleback music.
"I was hired about five or six years ago.
"I appreciated and respected what the company said its philosophies were at that time.
"The "core values" essentially. However, it didn't take long to realise what complete and utter bulls**t they are."
After an unhappy meeting with her boss about a new role, Norwegian journalist Heidi Nordby Lunde tweeted that she'd cleared her desk and was ready for new challenges.
But her short message about moving one floor up to start her new position at the online newsite ABC Nyheter was misinterpreted by her boss as a resignation in 2009, a Norweigian media blog reported.
“I was not particularly happy with the restructuring,” Ms Lunde said.
"But I figured I would give it a try and see what happened. So I cleaned up my desk and prepared to move one floor up."
Her boss later told her that she needed to give a formal resignation letter because the company was trying to find someone to replace her.
"If they have interpreted a Twitter message to be my resignation, then I guess that is my formal resignation.
"I know social media and I know what I do. If that tweet had been intended as a resignation, of course I would have talked to my boss about it first."
- Sydney Morning Herald