The Ultimate List of TV and Movie Janitors
Of course, we all have our favorite. A memorable character from the movies or television that exceeds all of our top janitorial expectations, but the question remains: Who takes the prize for the most beloved cleaning professional of all time? Our list of top cleaning contenders is listed below.
1.Will Hunting - Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is the classic tale of a young man who works as a janitor at MIT. Will, who in addition to his cleaning skills, has unbelievable skills in solving complex math equations. To avoid prison, he reluctantly becomes a prodigy of Professor Gerald Lambeau. Although his stint as a janitor was short-lived, he has left a lasting impression on movie lovers everywhere.
2. Joe Dirt - Joe Dirt
Or Joe Dirte if you will. While pursuing reuniting with his long-lost family, Joe has a gig as a janitor at a high school and later at an LA radio station. At the radio station, Joe is enticed to tell his story and the captivating tales of his journey ensue. A man with impeccable style and a magnificent mullet, Joe shows the listeners that he is an optimistic dude and we should all just “keep on keepin’ on”.
3. Argus Filch - Harry Potter Series
Even at the top school for witchcraft and wizardry, things need to be kept tidy. Along with his sidekick, Mrs. Norris, Filch prowls the halls of Hogwarts ready to slap a detention on students who are out gallivanting after hours. Although Argus may be one of our crankier contestants, he has made a name for himself in the magic and muggle worlds alike.
4. Marisa Ventura - Maid in Manhattan
A hotel maid at a prestigious Manhattan hotel (hence the movie’s title), Ms. Ventura dreams of providing her and her son the best life possible. Working long, non-traditional hours takes strong-will and dedication, as displayed by the hotel workers. Although we do not condone stealing hotel guests’ clothes and strolling around Central Park, we do encourage you to pursue your aspirations and maybe land the handsome politician of your dreams in the process.
5. Rosie - The Jetsons
A very famous cartoon in the 60’s and then again in the 80’s, The Jetson family lives in a futuristic world where housekeeping duties are taken care of by robots. Rosie flaunts your typical maid outfit complete with a feather duster as she rolls around trying to keep up with Elroy, Judy and Astro. Dare we say her efforts are out of this world?
6. Berta – Two and a Half Men
Berta is the cynical, hardworking, sassy, but caring housekeeper that tends to the beach house owned by Charlie Harper. Throughout the series, she becomes more like family to the men, even though she often proclaims her disgust by the household’s lack of cleanliness and takes enjoyment in their many misfortunes. Berta’s most famous catchphrase – “I ain’t cleaning that up.” I’m sure we’ve all thought this from time to time!
7. God – Bruce Almighty
In this 2003 comedy, we follow the story of Bruce Nolan, played by Jim Carrey, who gets fired from his job as a news reporter and blames God for his misfortune. God, played by Morgan Freeman, first appears in the movie disguised as a janitor challenging Bruce with the opportunity to be him for one week. Of course, this isn’t as easy of a task as Bruce thought and things go awry. Talk about cleaning up a big mess! (Bonus fact… Did you know Jim Carrey worked as a janitor before his big break on In Living Color?)
8. Finn – Star Wars
In the latest trilogy, we were introduced to stormtrooper FN-2817, who began his work on the Starkiller Base assigned to the sanitation division. Finn is shocked by the cruelty of the First Order during his first combat mission and ends up fleeing, eventually joining the Resistance. With his knowledge of the inner workings of the base, he’s able to play a huge part in the Resistance’s long-shot journey of taking down the Order. Handling a broom and a lightsaber can’t be that much different right?
9. Elisa Esposito – The Shape of Water
Ahh, here we have a romantic tale about a cleaner at a top-secret government lab falling in love with a mysterious Amphibian Man. The movie went on to win Best Picture in 2017 along with multiple other awards. Elisa shows true bravery in the film, putting her life on the line to fight for what she believes in. We can get on board with that.
10. The Janitor – Scrubs
Known throughout the series as only “Janitor”, he has become one of the most iconic TV cleaning personnel appearing in almost every episode of the show. He’s a mysterious, sarcastic character often telling completely absurd stories and sometimes pretending to be Doctor Ján Ĩtor. He seemed to find great joy in his daily work, along with terrorizing and pulling pranks on JD and other hospital staff members.
11. Carl Reed – The Breakfast Club
In this classic 80s film, we meet five high school students spending their Saturday in detention. Carl, the confident and slightly cocky school janitor, interacts with the students throughout the day and at one point states “I am the eyes and ears of this institution.” Actor John Kapelos that played the part stated that since the high school they used to shoot the film was empty at the time, he found the actual janitor’s office in the building where he would go to practice lines.
12. Consuela - Family Guy
Nooo, no, no, we wouldn’t forget Consuela from the popular animated sitcom, Family Guy. Consuela works as a maid in numerous episodes and does it all from watching Stewie to housework for Superman. A strong advocate for more Lemon Pledge, Consuela deserves a spot on our list.
13. Mrs. Doubtfire - Mrs. Doubtfire
Starring Robin Williams, this heartwarming family film tells the story of a father who becomes a nanny/housekeeper for his ex-wife and children after not being granted enough time to spend with them after the divorce. Thus, Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire is born! The dude does really look like a lady, complete with a Grandma type ensemble. She gets things done on her own terms and wins the affection of those around her. A series of hysterical mishaps bring the family closer than ever. Vote for Mrs. Doubtfire, dear!
14. Mr. Svenson – Archie Comics
“By Yimini!” Next up we have Mr. Svenson, the custodian at Riverdale High School in the Archie Comics series. He speaks with a strong Swedish accent and is admired throughout the school for being extremely hard-working. (Yes, for you millennials out there, Mr. Svenson has also made an appearance on CW’s Riverdale TV series that is based on the characters of Archie Comics, but we prefer the lovable cartoon janitor vs the possible serial killer version Riverdale features! #NotMyJanitor)
15. Charlie Kelly - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Charlie is the easily excitable janitor of Paddy’s Pub. Paddy’s Pub would have almost certainly failed its health inspection in season ten if it wasn’t for Charlie’s fast thinking, cleaning knowledge. He also gets a job as a substitute janitor and the local high school. He’s hired on the spot since the principal says he’s never met anyone more passionate about the custodial field.
16. Alice - The Brady Bunch
Here’s the story of a lovely lady… The Brady Bunch wouldn’t have been the same without the family’s beloved and witty housekeeper played by the hilarious Ann B. Davis. Aside from keeping the Brady’s home spotless, Alice provided the Brady family with lots of laughs, wisdom and friendship in over 100 episodes.
17. Lurch - The Addams Family
Working for a family that enjoys living in a dark, dusty environment and is constantly breaking things would not be ideal for most cleaners, but Lurch has always had a profound loyalty to his employers. He takes pride and is willing to do the most strenuous tasks. He’s extremely close to the family, almost like a paternal figure to the children. Oh, and one his close friends, Thing, is often around to lend him a (disembodied) hand...
18. Scruffy Scruffington - Futurama
Scruffy Scuffington is the janitor from the TV series, Futurama. He is a somewhat lazy zombie who wholeheartedly (or lack thereof) supports his employer, Planet Express. Equipped with a moustache and broom, Scruffy refers to himself in 3rd person and seems to have deep thoughts regarding the world around him. With a job consisting of toilets ‘n boilers, boilers ‘n toilets and even a boilin’ toilet, we tip our hats to his faithfulness to his profession.
19. WALL-E - WALL-E
WALL-E works tirelessly day in and day out to keep a futuristic, uninhabited Earth clean. WALL-E stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class, so basically the name says it all. He is the last of his kind and although a little lonely, continues to do what he was designed to do. While not your typical janitor, he helps keep Earth free of trash in hopes that life can one day return to it. You can’t downplay his dedication- 700 years’ worth!
20. Mary Poppins - Mary Poppins
A spoonful of sugar, a magic bag and cleaning skills to boot, Mary Poppins is one of the most well-known nannies/housekeepers of all time. By providing her supercalifragilisticexpialidocious skills, she helps the Banks’ children find fun within their chores and teaches them some life lessons as they sing and dance their way through the day. Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way-including perfect for our list!
Did we miss one of your favorite TV or movie janitors? Let us know in the comments!