Created By: AFP on October 20, 2010 Last Edited By: AFP on October 26, 2010
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The Inquisitor General

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Tag: Launching soon.

Ask anybody in the military, what's the most nerve-wracking experience they will ever face? Enemy tanks? Air strikes? Being shot to death?

No, you may find they most lament having to deal with The Inquisitor General.

This is a character whose job it is to go over everything you do with a fine-toothed comb, making sure to catalog each of your transgressions, big and small. He could be a Drill Sergeant Nasty, The Neidermeyer, or even Colonel Badass. Assuming that he is a benevolent form of this trope, his goal is to help you become as flawless at what you do as possible, so you'll be less likely to make any mistakes when it counts for real. Of course, it's also possible that he's a Jerk Ass whose only goal is to make you look like an incompetent fool or get you angry enough to do something you'll regret.

Examples:

[[folder:Film]]
  • The Danny Kaye film The Inspector General has a man arrested for vagrancy mistaken for an Inspector General in disguise.

[[folder:Literature]]
  • Miles Vorkosigan pulls off faking this in The Warrior's Apprentice as part of an Indy Ploy - or rather, the latest in a long string of Indy Ploys.
    • Miles Vorkosigan also plays Inspector General on ImpSec in Memory, this time with the authority to make it stick. He thinks he's killing time waiting for field agents to report on off-planet leads. As it happens, after a few days of snooping, he finds what he needs to crack the case in the basement.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
  • Babylon 5 had several different kinds of examples:
  • Alfed Bester, being a PsiCop, is in a way this trope for the rest of the PsiCorps. He also uses his talents and authority to generally fuck with the mundanes when it serves his purposes.
    • In A Call To Arms, it is evident that the foreman at the shipyard for the new destroyers considers Micheal Garibaldi to be a most unwelcome version of this, but for the inverse of the normal reason: The foreman wants to get everything perfect, and Garibaldi is insisting that he accept things as "Good Enough" and move on so they can actually complete the project. Of course, it's also possible he was delaying over every little problem because he was actually The Mole.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation featured Inspector General officers in several episodes. In Coming Of Age, two officers are inspecting the Enterprise and her crew, second-guessing every decision and action they've taken thus far. In the end, it is revealed that they suspected that an alien force was infiltrating Starfleet, and that at the end of their investigation, they found the Enterprise to be the finest ship in the fleet.

[[folder:Table Top RPG]]
  • IntSec (Internal Security) has this function in Paranoia.

[[folder:Web Comics]]

Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • October 20, 2010
    BlackWolfe
  • October 20, 2010
    AFP
    Thinking about it, a few different kinds of examples turn up in the Honor Harrington series of books. Ranging from customs inspections (of varying degrees of thoroughness), to a short story taking place late in the first Haven-Manticore War where an Inspector General arrives to investigate the suspected murder of a State Sec Political Officer .
  • October 21, 2010
    randomsurfer
    In season one of Star Trek The Next Generation an admiral called a grand inquisitor on the Enterprise, who reported on the laxeties of the crew, but still said that it was still the best ship in the fleet and he wanted to be posted there when he was done with his inquistion duties.
  • October 21, 2010
    BlackWolfe
  • October 21, 2010
    AFP
    • Babylon 5 has several possible examples.
      • The first-season episode Eyes had an officer arrive on the station to inquire into the details of recent events aboard the station, going all the way back to the series pilot episode. He also brings a telepath along who is to scan each of the officers aboard the station to ensure that they are loyal to EarthGov. Ivonova refuses, ostensibly because she is offended that her superiors would even suggest her loyalty could be in question, but in actuality it is because she is a rogue telepath.
      • Alfed Bester, being a PsiCop, is in a way this trope for the rest of the PsiCorps.
      • In A Call To Arms, it is evident that the foreman at the shipyard for the new destroyers considers Micheal Garibaldi to be a most unwelcome version of this, but for the inverse of the normal reason: The foreman wants to get everything perfect, and Garibaldi is insisting that he accept things as "Good Enough" and move on so they can actually complete the project. It's also possible he was delaying over every little problem because he was actually The Mole.
  • October 23, 2010
    AFP
    @/randomsurfer: Is that the episode with the guy who was looking for conspirators and/or Romulan spies on the Enterprise?
  • October 23, 2010
    GymQuirk
    Miles Vorkosigan also plays Inspector General on ImpSec in Memory, this time with the authority to make it stick. He thinks he's killing time waiting for field agents to report on off-planet leads. As it happens, after a few days of snooping, he finds what he needs to crack the case in the basement.
  • October 23, 2010
    randomsurfer
  • October 24, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • IntSec (Internal Security) has this function in Paranoia.
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