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|“||Listen to me, you stupid little runt. I own you. You're my b****! So don't walk around here thinking you have free will because you DON'T. I can break you anytime I want! So settle in, because you are in this for the long haul!||„|
|~ David Harken|
|“||I've got 6 bullets in this gun, which means I can shoot all of you twice just like that bastard Pellitt if I really wanted to, but I'm not gonna do that. I've got a better idea. I'm gonna tell the cops that you killed Pellitt, and when I found out, you tried to kill me to shut me up.||„|
|~ Harken planning the demise of Nick, Dale and Kurt|
Nick Hendricks hopes for a promotion at ComniDyne where he worked an unspecified job (that provided middle income) for 8 years; however, Harken verbally abuses him for being only 2 minutes late and considers him a alcoholic for having taken a Scottish alcoholic drink at 8 in the morning, (which Harken actually forced Nick to drink, just "cause").
Harken promotes himself, after months of hinting that was going to be Nick's promotion, (leading to Nick to envision himself grabbing David and throwing him out the window, to his death) because Nick has worked 8 years in a low position to become Senior Vice President, but it has been all for nothing.
Later at a bar, Nick (jokingly) encourages on murdering his boss along with his friends Dale and Kurt, both of whom have terrible bosses themselves. Dale is being sexually harnessed, and Kurt's boss may actually be "insane". Not just a bully to his workers, but also allowing the Bolivian government to dispose waste on citizens (putting thousands of local residents at risk of radiation) just because the price is much lower.
But Dale later says they should actually do it, after finally having had enough of Julia.
During their attempt, Harken finds Bobby Pellett's (Kurt's boss) phone under his wife Rhonda's bed (Nick had dropped the phone sneaking into Harken's house after they sneak in earlier). Suspecting that his wife is cheating on him, Harken drives to Pellitt's house, hands him the phone, and shoots him twice, but Nick secretly witnessed this even, and understandably "freaks the hell out" and speeds away from the area.
However, the film later proves that Harken's wife actually does cheat on him, having sucked Kurt's penis in the bathroom despite not even knowing Kurt.
Nick, Dale, and Kurt attempt to get Harken to confess his actions, which he openly does at his surprise birthday party but threatens to kill the three. After a car chase, Harken finally catches up to the trio.
After confronting them, Harken shoots himself in the leg just as the police arrive, framing them. However, Gregory, Kurt's car operator, had recorded Harken's plot before the police's arrival. Harken is arrested for the murder of Bobby Pellett and his three attempted murders. He is subsequently convicted on all charges and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
In Horrible Bosses 2, Nick, Kurt and Dale visit a now-bearded Harken in prison (mimicking Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs), where he gives them some "advice", ridiculing Nick and his friends for having chosen to start their own company without knowing anything about how to avoid scams and resulting financial ruin from the movie's new main antagonists Burt Hanson and Rex Hanson.In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure, but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed, but not without further insulting them for "giving him good news".