It's a tricky business discovering one of your underlings is a traitor, especially a high ranking one. Apart from the feelings of betrayal, you've now lost a (probably [[NoDelaysForTheWicked quite efficient]]) member of your workforce and the rest of your underlings are reeling from the revelation, given how much esteem and trust they needed to have for the holder of that position. Not to mention that group of heroes you had take him down is going to want paying and you need to reward that one MauveShirt who helped smoke him out as well....

This is when, after taking down a villain, their job is reallocated to someone else as a reward for defeating them. If the villain was TheMole (in which case they might just have left the organisation in question) then the BigGood or another benevolent figure will promote or hire either TheHero or one of his allies. A popular variation is for a low ranking member of the authority figure's organisation (typically someone who reported directly to the villain and got suspicious) who decided to help the heroes to be promoted to the villain's former position. If the villain was a corrupt ruler then his former subjects might [[OfferedTheCrown make the hero their new leader]].

If the heroes are part of a rebellion then they might invoke this trope after taking over (particularly with members of the old regime who either defected or are simply LawfulNeutral enough [[LoyalToThePosition to be trusted]]). If TheDrifter is made sheriff or similar he may use this trope on whoever showed enough backbone before moving on.

If the hero who slays the villain is forced to replace them in their duty by the very nature of the universe (whether the villain was doing said duty properly or not) it's YouKillItYouBoughtIt. If a member of the villain's group begins to work for the heroes after they defeat the villain then it's IFightForTheStrongestSide. If it was the act of slaying the villain that earned you his position then it's KlingonPromotion. If someone on the heroes' side replaces the villain more literally then it's a FaceHeelTurn.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* This is how Comicbook/DoctorStrange became the Ancient One's apprentice: by warning him that his current apprentice, Baron Mordo, was planning to kill him. (This is a slight variation in that [[spoiler: The Ancient One knew Mordo was going to betray him; he only acted like he was unaware as part of a SecretTestOfCharacter for Strange]].)
* In some versions of his origin, Hal Jordan started on the path to becoming the most respected among his fellow Franchise/GreenLantern Corps members by exposing the villainous abuses of power perpetrated by the previous #1 GL, Sinestro.
* This is essentially how [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica Steve Rogers]] replaced ComicBook/NormanOsborn as "America's Top Cop" at the end of ''Comicbook/DarkReign'', though it was less Steve's doing and more Norman himself who exposed said villainy thanks to the latter's VillainousBreakdown.
** In a clearer example of the trope, this is how the original Avengers reclaimed their usual public roles.
* Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} pulled something much like this on [[BigBad the Kingpin of Crime]], exposing Fisk's latest attempt at reclaiming his role as the top mobster in New York in order to become a kind of "anti-crime" Kingpin. Much later, though, when Daredevil became a full-fledged villain after [[FallenHero crossing some ethical lines]] and falling victim to DemonicPossession, Fisk managed to get his old role back ''and'' usurped Murdock's rule over [[GratuitousNinja the Hand]], in a rare example of a villain doing this to another villain.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In the straight to video sequel ''Disney/AladdinTheReturnOfJafar'', the Sultan offers Aladdin the job of Grand Vizier, which [[BigBad Jafar]] held. In a variation he defeated Jafar in the previous film and the Sultan makes the offer at the beginning, with Aladdin deciding to turn him down at the end (and settle for "merely" being a prince) because he feels that he's an adventurer at heart who couldn't bear staying in the palace all day signing papers.
* Franchise/{{Disney|AnimatedCanon}}'s ''{{Disney/Mulan}}''. In the end, Mulan is offered the job of the Emperor's incompetent aide. The aide wasn't the villain, but he was a {{Jerkass}} HateSink the whole movie.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'', Sulley actually ends up becoming [[spoiler:the new CEO of the titular power plant]] after exposing [[spoiler: Waternoose's evil plans to kidnap and torture children for maximum scream harvest]]. Sulley then proceeds to [[spoiler:convert said power plant from one relying on children's screams to one relying on children's laughter (which is considerably more powerful--Mike, for example, was able to fill his laugh-quota on his first kid for the day)]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''; Back in the 60s, Principal Prickly was good friends with the principal at the time, Phillium Benedict. When he learns that Benedict plans to get rid of recess to bump up test scores, he called in the Superintendent to sort out the problem. The Superintendent fires Benedict and give Prickly the job, souring the relationship between the two and leading Benedict to become the BigBad.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Peter Parker does this to Eddie Brock in ''Film/SpiderMan3'' when he exposes Brock's fraud with that "Spider-Man with his hand in a cookie jar" photo. Though in this case it was already a competition between the two that Brock won by cheating. Since he was disqualified, Peter got the job by default, the same way he would have if anyone else had done the exposing.
* At the end of ''Film/{{Unstoppable}}'', Connie Hooper, the yardmaster and most important character after the two leads, gets CorruptCorporateExecutive Oscar Galvin's old job (Vice-president).
* In ''Film/WorkingGirl'' Tess exposes Katherine for the backstabbing incompetent that she is, and gets her job (and her boyfriend) as a result.
* This fueled the entire plot of the first ''Film/{{Tron}}''. [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Dillinger]] stole a half-dozen completed video games from [[PlayfulHacker Flynn]] and parlayed those into a job as Encom's vice president. One wild trip into cyberspace later, Flynn's got his proof, Dillinger's ruined, and there's a vacancy in the boardroom...
* In ''Film/MrDestiny'', Creator/JamesBelushi's character Larry is placed in an AlternateUniverse by a GuardianAngel (played by Creator/MichaelCaine), which shows what his life would've been like if he'd succeeded in a high school baseball game. He ends up the president of the company where he works (in his own reality) in middle management. After this new reality turns into a disaster for him, he ends up back in his reality with no time having passed. However, he also has knowledge that the company's VP is planning to secretly buy up all the shares for cheap using a faked merger as a front. Larry bursts into the boardroom just in time to expose the CorruptCorporateExecutive and then runs home to see his real wife. At his surprise birthday party, the company's president visits him and lets him know that the culprits confessed to everything and were fired. As a bonus, Larry is offered the position of the VP and a company car (a Mercedes).

[[folder: Literature ]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: In the [[Literature/TheBible biblical story]] of Esther, after Haman has been put to death for trying to kill Esther's cousin, Mordecai, their entire family, and their entire ''race'' Mordecai is given Haman's old job as royal advisor to the king.
* At the end of the Literature/XWingSeries novel ''Mercy Kill'', [[spoiler: Face Loran replaces the corrupt head of Galactic Alliance intelligence, who he implicated in the conspiracy he had been investigating throughout the book]]. Admittedly a case where the means of taking down the villain (and recognizing his threat in the first place) amply proved his ability in his new job.
* [[WellIntentionedExtremist Stretching the definition of "villain" a little,]] but this certainly applies in the second trilogy of ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'' series, when [[spoiler: Darren exposes the treasonous plans of Vampire Prince-to-be Kurda Smahlt, and is made a Vampire Prince in Kurda's place]]. It is also interesting that [[spoiler: Darren had been sentenced to death, and Kurda takes his place in that fate as well]].

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In ''{{Series/CSI}}'' [[spoiler: Conrad Ecklie (who'd more or less stopped being a JerkAss by that point)]] is promoted to [[spoiler: Undersheriff]] after the previous holder of the position [[spoiler: turned out to be TheMole and [[KilledOffForReal killed Warrick Brown]]]].
* ''Series/ThePretender'' episode "Curious Jarod" begins with Jarod exposing a scam being run by a casino's head of security, and being hired as the new head of security.
* At the end of season 2 of ''Series/BurnNotice'' Michael is offered Carla's old position, on the grounds that he exposed her as a rogue agent, and had her killed. Inevitably, he turns it down. Not a KlingonPromotion, because it's heavily implied that she would've been killed anyway if she had been found out.
* In the fourth season finale of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', [[spoiler: Angel Investigations get to start running the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram and Hart.]] It's an {{inver|tedTrope}}sion, since they [[GoodRunningEvil accept an offer to take over]] their BigBad's operations so that they can ''later'' expose the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, the cabal affiliated with W and H. The general public always regarded the firm as somewhere between a VillainWithGoodPublicity and a bunch of AmoralAttorney types.

[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]
* ''{{TabletopGame/Birthright}}'' has a classical character made this way, [[ Rahil "the Falcon"]]. A minor noble learning magic wandered into the oldest human city on the continent soon after local CourtMage's death and noticed that both of the old guy's apprentices were too busy trying to control the court with spells. So he exposed their little games to the prince-paladin and guess who was the next CourtMage there?

[[folder: Theater ]]
* In ''Theatre/HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'', Finch is made Vice President over Advertising after exposing his predecessor as an alumnus of the boss's former rival school.
* ''The Broken Jug'' (Der zerbrochne Krug) by Heinrich von Kleist has judge Adam trying to cover up his own crimes. His secretary Licht helps discovering the truth in order to get the position as judge himself.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', where Naked Snake defeats the apparent traitor The Boss and inherits her title, becoming Big Boss, but [[spoiler: she wasn't a traitor; she'd pretended to be (and let Snake kill her) in order to [[ZeroApprovalGambit act as a scapegoat]]. [[ForegoneConclusion We all know]] [[StartOfDarkness where this leads]] [[BigBad Big Boss to]] in ''Franchise/MetalGear''.]]
* Late in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''' plot, you fight and kill the traitorous [[spoiler:[[AristocratsAreEvil Arl Howe]]]]. At the start of the ExpansionPack ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'', the new ruler of Ferelden gives you rulership of the lands formerly held by said traitor. [[spoiler:Howe]] himself tried to pull the same trick, although that involved accusing Teyrn Cousland of treason, which would allow [[spoiler:Howe]] to come in and take his lands. If you play as a Cousland, then you, effectively, get your own lands back.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', if you do Aveline's side quests you eventually reveal the Guard Captain as [[spoiler:being on the payroll of the Coterie in order to settle his debts. Aveline is given his job as a reward for her diligence in looking after the CityGuards and as a means to restore trust in their devotion to upholding the Law.]]
* The Hero in ''VideoGame/FableI'' is offered the post of Mayor of Bowerstone if they depose the current Mayor, Lady Grey, by finding evidence that she murdered her sister.
** Also in VideoGame/FableIII, but it's less exposing and more usurping that happens to the villain.
* In ''VideoGame/BaldursGate 2'' you can end up running a cell of the Shadow Thieves in this manner.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' ends with him taking the throne from the villainous king.
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''. Delita rushes into a meeting by Duke Goltanna and exposes a traitor in the Duke's inner circle. As reward, the Duke appoints Delita as leader of the Blackram Knights and later leader of the entire Order of the Southern Sky. Of course, everything is going AllAccordingToPlan.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the main villain in the [[spoiler:Thieves Guild]] questline eventually turns out to be [[spoiler:Mercer Frey, the Guildmaster]]. After you [[spoiler:expose and kill him]], you will eventually end up [[spoiler:rewarded with the title of Guildmaster yourself]].
* In ''VideoGame/CaptainMorganeAndTheGoldenTurtle'', Tanama, despite being a child, gets appointed the [[spoiler:new shaman of Turtle Island]] for helping oust the corrupt incumbent.
* A GoodEnding in ''VideoGame/WingCommanderIVThePriceOfFreedom'' - Colonel Blair, having exposed Admiral Tolwyn's treachery, if he consistently sided with the more ruthless Hawk over the more compassionate Panther during the game, is given Tolwyn's job of [[GoodIsNotSoft suppressing insurrections along the frontier]].
* Shephard from ''Videogame/MassEffect'' is offered a post as a Spectre after finding evidence that exposes another Spectre, Saren Arterius, as a liar and a traitor.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rupert}}'', he ends up helping an elf who's behind on his...dust sprinkling. It turns out that his BadBoss had gone crazy and started keeping the gold the elves mined to make said dust, leading to said boss to be fired and said elf to be promoted.
* A variation: In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode Homer's Odyssey, Homer begins protesting against the Nuclear Power Plant's safety policy, and successfully works up a giant protest group. Mr. Burns calls him over to his office, and because most of Springfield thinks the Power Plant is irresponsible with safety, makes him a safety inspector.