[[quoteright:300:[[ComicBook/YoungAvengers http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gv_4_338.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:''Who's "we"?'']]

->''"Sergeant Tyree, I'm ordering you to volunteer again"''
-->-- '''Cpt. Brittles''', ''Film/SheWoreAYellowRibbon''

A dirty, dangerous, and/or difficult job needs to get done, and [[WhoWillBellTheCat nobody wants to do it]]. The boss is asking volunteers to step forward. No way are you going to get mixed up in a sticky situation like that. Your mama didn't raise no fool. Suddenly you are shoved forward by some of your "friends". The boss smiles. Wait -- No! You just got volunteered!

'''There are lots of different versions of this:'''

* As above, but your friends don't even bother pushing, they just say you volunteer.
* [[TheChooserOfTheOne The guy in charge picks people]] and simply calls you "volunteers."
* The person who suggested the job in the first place is volunteered.
* (Usually military) Everyone is [[LineInTheSand lined up]], and the leader/commander asks for volunteers to step forward -- and promptly everybody except our protagonist steps backwards, [[DontExplainTheJoke making it look like the protagonist stepped forward]].
* The heroes are faced with the challenge. In unison, [[WhyAreYouLookingAtMeLikeThat everyone turns to look at one person]].
* When one person is out of the room for some reason, the rest have a vote and elect the unlucky absentee to the post.
* In a duo, one person asks the other to pick a number, and upon hearing their answer immediately declares them the loser.

However it happens, the unwilling volunteer agrees to do it anyways. Maybe because he's just too nice a guy to say no. Maybe he doesn't want to leave people in the lurch. Maybe he really doesn't want to cross the boss--and sometimes, [[YouHaveFailedMe there's a really good reason not to]]. Or maybe he just doesn't want to be labeled a coward.

Usually played as comedy, although occasionally it's played for drama.

Commonly volunteered in this way: {{Boxed Crook}}s, CondemnedContestant, TheBait, and {{Cincinnatus}}.

The opposite of MartyrWithoutACause. If it's the CallToAdventure, then the protagonist never got a chance at RefusalOfTheCall because other people accepted it for him.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Almost any anime with an UnwantedHarem is going to have the leading man be "volunteered" for an unwilling date. ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' for example has this happen a few times -- this is particularly galling as the leading man is secretly engaged to one of the girls -- resulting in her having to smile as the other girls trick him into taking them out, making it a use of this trope for both comedic and dramatic purposes at the same time.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** Haruhi populates her club with these. It's even Lampshaded that "voluntary arrest" is her term for kidnapping. Yuki, Mikuru, and Kyon all fit the bill.
** The time travel plots start with the future automatically assuming that Kyon will help. Of course, they're from the future, [[YouCantFightFate so they know he will]], but he still finds it annoying. Especially the one time it turned out that it was his own future self (albeit from only about a week ahead) who rudely involved him without giving him any instructions at all.
** During the fight between the SOS Brigade and the Student Council, the Brigade is forced to act like a Literary Club and publish a newsletter. In addition to the brigade members, Haruhi also shanghais Taniguchi, Kunikida, the computer club, and a couple artists from the art and manga clubs to help. Well, and Tsuruya, but she actually genuinely volunteered.
* In ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', Kaname volunteers Sōsuke to take out the garbage as a way of getting back at Sōsuke for shadowing her. The fact that no-one else wants to do it helps as well. He's told that it's a tradition for newcomers to handle garbage, after which he [[TheStoic doesn't ask about it again and just does it without a word]]. Much later, he actually incorporates this into his BadassBoast.
-->'''Confused and/or scared Mook:''' Who are you?\\
'''Sōsuke''' I take out the garbage.
%%* This is how the main character of ''Manga/AlienNine'' ended up with her job.
* Matsuda is the go-to guy for this sort of thing in ''Manga/DeathNote'', from making coffee runs to being bait to [[spoiler: halving his lifespan with an excellent chance of dying in two weeks. Much to Light's dismay, he's supplanted on that last.]] As long as he thinks he's being useful, he's a pretty good sport about it all.
* This is how the ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'' team got formed; after Nozomi became Cure Dream, she dragged along the others, already deciding that they were to be Pretty Cure - despite the fact that Rin was scared witless of it all and Karen just didn't want any part of it! Nozomi's ''determined'' and it pays off!
* In ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'', someone needs to be the partner for Asia in their three-legged race. [[ShipperOnDeck Kiryuu Aika]] then [[TheGadfly tells Issei that he has a hole on his shirt in the armpit region]]. Seeing as Issei was still in deep thought, he nonchalantly raises his arm, finds that there's no hole and the realization hits him that he gets volunteered to be Asia's partner.
* In ''LightNovel/KokoroConnect'', there's a scene in which [[{{Class Representative}} Fujishima]] is asking for volunteers to pick up litter. Taichi is about to raise his hand when he and Inaba [[{{Freaky Friday Flip}} suddenly switch places]], so it looks like she volunteered. Inaba (in Taichi's body) just narrowly avoids decking him before volunteering herself.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': An [[{{Filler}} anime only]] RunningGag is that [[AlmightyJanitor Yumichika]] is the only member of the 11th division command quartet who does any work, which [[AxeCrazy Captain Zaraki]] views as time-wasting ("[[BloodKnight play first, work later]]" is his motto). As a result, Yumichika gets volunteered for things he doesn't want to do on the grounds that he has "too much time on his hands". At one point, even Urahara picks up on this and volunteers him to help members of the fourth and twelfth divisions (two divisions the eleventh division loathes being associated with) investigate arrancar activity in Karakura Town. This results in a LethalChef meets CarryingACake plotline to solve a ghost's UnfinishedBusiness. Yumichika is not at all happy, especially since he [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] a giant PlotHole in the storyline right at the very end of the episode that could have spared him ever getting involved in the first place.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': Durning Mahora Festival, an off-shot joke of Negi (disguised as Nagi) about joining a contest gets the attention of the "Make-People-Join-Event" Team, and Negi with Ako are "encouraged" to participate.
* For being the OnlySaneMan in ''LightNovel/ThePetGirlOfSakurasou'', Sorata often have this.
** In Episode 2, after being fed up with [[IdiotSavant Mashiro]]'s antics, he proposed the entire Sakura Hall to take turns being her CloudcuckoolandersMinder. Jin and Misaki just assigned that duty back to him like the tradition of this trope.
** In Episode 9, Sorata was chosen as leader for the Sakura Hall's project come the school festival. Everyone else votes for him as well against his wishes.
* This is the reason [[NiceGuy Kimihito]] in ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' started hosting [[CuteMonsterGirl monster girls]]. [[SnakePeople Miia]] only ended up with him because her coordinator took her to the wrong house, [[HarpingOnAboutHarpies Papi]] and [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent Mero]] were likewise dumped into his care and [[OurCentaursAreDifferent Cerea]], [[SpiderPeople Rachnera]] and [[HeadlessHorseman Lala]] forced ''themselves'' into his house. [[SlimeGirl Suu]] is the only exception, since while she just showed up out of the blue, it was Kimihito himself who decided to keep her.
* ''Manga/AnoKoNiKissToShirayuriWo'': The gardening club is being disbanded due to lack of members, and none of its advertisements have worked. Eventually the president just resorts to grabbing a random passerby (Yurine) and begging her to sign up...and due to TheLawOfConservationOfDetail, this works. (Later Yurine does the same thing to someone else.)
* ''Manga/Eyeshield21'' Sena and Karin from Teikoku Alexanders come to mind. Also various people that Hiruma forced to fill the roster. In general Some stay, some leave the American Football game altogether. Sena is former, Karin is the letter.
* In ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'', due to an incident during the Assassination Island Vacation arc, Class E has to infiltrate a hotel. When the only way forward is to unlock a back door past a crowded lounge, the girls are sent through since they would look most natural. When concerns are raised about their vulnerability, Nagisa is DraggedIntoDrag and sent in as a bodyguard.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The FlavorText of the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' card "Goblin Hero" reads: "To be a hero, you don't have to step forward. Everyone else just has to step back."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'':
** In ''Asterix the Gaul'', the Roman soldiers decide this by a game of [[ParlorGames Musical Chairs]]. This trope is also a running joke in several other albums. Basically, no Roman legionary ever becomes a volunteer by his own choice.
** ''Asterix in Corsica'' features an ''actual'' volunteer, very much despised and considered an idiot by his fellow legionaries. Tellingly, one of the grunts mentions that he was offered the choice between crucifixion and serving in Corsica.
--->'''Legionary:''' You know the army: ask for one thing, [[PlaceWorseThanDeath you get the other.]]
** Those same legionaries were chosen for patrol because the governor told the bugler to sound the call to dinner, and the first ten to get there were now volunteers. Note that ''they were already at dinner'' when it rang.
* In ''ComicBook/KajkoIKokosz'' Clumsy gets volunteered by the brigands every time - either everyone else takes a step back or someone kicks him foreward.
* A variation from ''Superman/Batman #4'', where the heroes are facing Toyman:
-->'''Katana:''' But... The kid made it clear he wants to talk to Superman.\\
'''Batman:''' [[HormoneAddledTeenager He is also thirteen years old.]] [[WeNeedADistraction Find a way to distract him.]]\\
'''Power Girl:''' [[MostCommonSuperpower What's everyone looking at me for?]] [[DistractedByTheSexy How am I supposed to distract...]] oh.
* ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'': Mortadelo and Filemón have found themselves in this kind of situation several times, more often than not when the mission involves Bacterio's latest invention.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Naturally, occurs in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'':
-->'''PointyHairedBoss:''' [[LampshadeHanging This thankless assignment shall go to whomever asks a question or makes eye contact.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'' one of Wimpy's trademark phrases -- that he normally uses after wronging a big strong guy who now has come for revenge -- is "You want to fight? All right! LetsYouAndHimFight!" Then, you guessed it, Wimpy steps aside and makes way for Popeye, who has to fight the big strong guy.
* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'', being [[ArmedFarces military comedy]] that's [[LongRunners gone on for ages]], naturally does this a lot of times, usually done by Sarge and aimed at Beetle.
** In the cartoon ''Cosmo's Naught'': Volunteers have to walk the distance of 50 miles. Beetle Bailey, Zero and Cosmo complain how ill they are until Sarge tell them to shut up and that if anyone of the soldiers need to see the doctor they should go. Everyone except Beetle Bailey, Zero and Cosmo immediately run away leaving the three back as the volunteers.
** "I need three volunteers: You, you and you."
** Sarge asks for anyone volunteering to raise his hand -- knowing that Beetle's arm is in a cast so he can't put it down.
** Sarge asks which of the soldiers have had college education, then tells them (Beetle and Plato) to follow him, and leads them to work in the kitchen.
** Once Sarge simply raises Beetle's hand for him.
* During one election go-around on ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'', Opus gets saddled with the Meadow Party VP post because he's "conveniently" away on a snack run when the vote is held.
* In one ''ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible'' strip. "I have [[GoodNewsBadNews good news and bad news]]! The good news: I just want volunteers for this mission! The bad news: I need four volunteers." (There are just four guys.)

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire'', Luso and Villi would unwittingly be roped in as dance partners for Kanin and Adelle when they get Cheney to teach them how to dance.
* In ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'', this was how [[OnlySaneMan Smart Cookie]] became [[TheCaligula Chancellor Puddinghead's]] Secretary: the Senate needed ''somepony'' to mitigate Puddinghead's insane policies and reduce the damage, but none of them wanted the position. So they 'nominated' the [[UsefulNotes/JohnAdams Obnoxious and Disliked]] Smart Cookie (and nopony else) and proceeded to run the election over Cookie's vocal objections. According to an eye witness, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny she didn't take it well]].
** History repeated itself when she was elected Equestria's first Premier, even though she didn't want the job.
* In the ''FanFic/PoniesOfOlympus'' series, Rarity's former OldMaster Lao Wu agrees to having her enter the Atlas Strongest Tournament to fight Scootaloo and prove that his training techniques are superior to Rainbow Dash's -- without asking Rarity's permission first. Rainbow Dash has to talk her into it.
* In ''The Unchosen One'', Trixie agrees to accompany Twilight on a mission (she's acquired a strange kind of magic immunity that will be useful, and also Twilight's developing a crush on her). Luna insists on outfitting her with equipment, including a set of royal armor. Then a guard tells Trixie that she's now counted among them and honorbound to protect Twilight, or bring shame on the entire Royal Guard (including a certain former Captain who happens to be Twilight's older brother). Trixie is... less than happy to be conscripted this way. Twilight seriously entertains the idea of keeping her.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11420222/14/The-Fairy-Godmother The Fairy Godmother]]'' Harry is a victim of the backwards-stepping line variant when Hagrid asks for a volunteer to take a closer look at the hippogriffs in third-year Care of Magical Creatures.
* The same thing happens in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/1858359/chapters/3999165 Two Shall Be As One]]'', only this time Harry is shoved forward by Draco Malfoy.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Roman sycophant Lucullus walks into it in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} Conquers America'' when he asks WhoWouldBeStupidEnough to throw Getafix off the edge of the world.
-->'''[[UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar Caesar]]:''' ''[chuckling]'' I can think of someone who was made for the task... ''[serious]'' You, Lucullus, you'll do it.\\
'''Lucullus:''' B-b-b-buh...\\
'''Caesar:''' You'll do it. And I won't take "No" for an answer! All I can say is, ''Thank Heaven the world is flat.''
* ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'': The explorers need someone to talk to Princess Kida and try to get her to convince the king to change his mind and let them explore. Mole enthusiastically volunteers, but Commander Rourke chooses Milo, who is not even paying attention. This is justified, as Milo is the group's Atlantis expert, while Mole is [[ThePigPen dirty and uncouth]].
* The "everyone steps backward" variant happened in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' when Sheriff asks for volunteers to be [=McQueen's=] attorney. Mater, the one left out, gladly accepts.
* The Elephants in ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' try the "step backwards" method, but they ''all'' end up volunteered. (One was slow on the uptake and almost got uniquely "volunteered", but catches on and gets in line in time)
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' features the "stepping back" variant when Yao gets "volunteered" to retrieve the arrow shot into the top of the post by Shang -- though this one may have had something to do with Shang nocking the arrow as he called Yao's name. When the guy in charge points an arrow in your general direction, it's generally a good idea to try and remove yourself from the field of fire.
* Disney's ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'': The Dwarfs need someone to go upstairs and check for intruders. They all turn to Dopey, who looks over his shoulder before realizing he's the one being volunteered.
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'': Pare is "volunteered" when everyone steps back to avoid volunteering and he's so big that Sunny can't tell that he stepped back. Pare is too nice to break it to Sunny and reluctantly goes along on the dangerous mission.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'', Odette needs all three of her animal friends to help her steal a map from Rothbart's castle. Jean-Bob the frog is a CowardlySidekick who doesn't want to, so Odette says "Our team is shy one green web-footed volunteer!" and Speed steps on his foot so he can't get away.
* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'': Sebastian ends up with the thankless job of keeping tabs on Ariel in the middle of a rant about how ''he'd'' make sure she stayed in line if she were his daughter.
-->'''Sebastian''': Hm! Teenagers... They think they know everything. You give 'em an inch, they swim all over you.\\
'''Triton''': Do you, er, think I - [[WasTooHardOnHim I was too hard on her]]?\\
'''Sebastian''': Definitely not. Why, if Ariel was ''my'' daughter, I'd show her who was boss! None of this "flitting to the surface" and other such nonsense. No, sir, I'd keep her under tight control.\\
'''Triton''': You're absolutely right, Sebastian!\\
'''Sebastian''': Of course.\\
'''Triton''': Ariel needs constant supervision.\\
'''Sebastian''': Constant.\\
'''Triton''': Someone to watch over her-- to keep her out of trouble.\\
'''Sebastian''': All the time, I'd--\\
'''Triton''': And YOU are just the crab to do it.\\
''(Sebastian gasps in disbelief; cut to him leaving the throne room, muttering)''\\
'''Sebastian''': How do I get myself into these situations?! I should be writing symphonies! Not tagging along after some headstrong teenager!
** ''Disney/TheLittleMermaidIIReturnToTheSea'': Triton once again gives Sebastian the same job--this time over Ariel's daughter Melody, [[OhNoNotAgain and Sebastian faints]].
-->'''Sebastian''': "Sebastian, you watch over her," he said. I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS! A crab my age should be retired! Getting a tan! Playing sea golf! SIPPING A TUNA COLADA! Not babysitting another teenager!

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheDirtyDozen'' is a sterling example of this.
* "That's why he's called Film/DirtyHarry."
* In the film version of ''Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'', Harry is "volunteered" to approach the hippogriff as his classmates step backwards (although in the book he actually volunteers).
* Inverted in ''Film/TheLastChanceDetectives'' video "Legend Of The Desert Bigfoot"; while contemplating on what to do in case the Bigfoot came by, Ben suggests that one of them stay behind to call for help. Mike then says that it's a great idea, [[spoiler: then promptly assigns Spence to the duty of staying behind and calling for help, much to Ben's consternation. Made even funnier that the look that Winnie has on her face after that clearly reads 'Nice try, Ben']].
* A Creator/LaurelAndHardy short has Ollie facing off with a big bruiser and challenging him to a boxing match - that Stanley is going to fight.
* ''Film/MysteryTeam''. Apparently the task of sticking one's hand in a filthy toilet inside a gentleman's club restroom is a job for the Boy Genius.
* Inverted in ''Film/PearlHarbor'', when Doolittle explains the Raid won't do much but be a "pin prick." ''All'' the preselected volunteers step forward.
* ''Film/RatRace'' ended with this trope, portrayed as comeuppance.
* In ''Film/ReignOfFire'', Van Zan does this to the members of Quinn's survivor group so that he has enough troops to siege the Dragon-occupied London.
* In ''Film/SpaceCamp'', Kevin [[NeverMyFault tries to use this as an excuse]] when Andie [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech dresses his down]] as Commander of the Blue Team after a mission simulation ends with them burning up on re-entry.
* ''Film/{{Speed}}'': "Sir, Harry volunteers to examine the device."
* ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'':
-->'''Dr. [=McCoy=]''' (to Kirk)''':''' Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used "reserve activation clause". In simpler language, Captain, they ''drafted'' me.\\
'''Kirk:''' They didn't.\\
'''[=McCoy=]:''' This was ''your'' idea! This was your idea, wasn't it?!
* ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'':
-->'''Chekhov:''' You, and you. You just became nurses.
* Played for drama in ''Film/{{Sunshine}}'': Mace blames Capa for the ship's solar panels being damaged (because he cast the deciding vote that sent them off course), and so "volunteers" him to go outside and help the captain fix them.
* Chief, from an early scene in ''The Wackiest Ship in the Army'': "I need one volunteer." ({{Beat}}) "You." (grabs random sailor and orders him to climb the mast)
* ''Film/TheWrongBox'': In the aftermath of a train wreck, a military man takes charge in the chaos. "All right, I want three volunteers -- you, you, and you!"
* ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' opens with prisoner James Cole being selected for Volunteer Duty, which involves him going up to the virus-infected surface in a HazmatSuit to gather samples. While ostensibly the prisoners are offered a reduction in sentence, those 'volunteered' either go insane or simply disappear -- Cole finds out why when he's asked to join a [[TimeTravel special program]].
-->'''Scientist:''' For a man in your position, an opportunity not to volunteer would be a mistake...
-->'''Scientist 2:''' ''Definitely'' a mistake...


* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' this is how Jake became leader of the team.
* A RunningGag in the ''Literature/AuntDimity'' series in reference to Finch's organizer Peggy Taxman (formerly Kitchen), as well as her Colorado counterpart Maggie Flaxman; fall afoul of her and you're likely to find yourself volunteered for one of the dirty or boring jobs at the next local festival. Try to get out of one assignment (as Bill did in ''Aunt Dimity Digs In''), and her alternative "suggestion" won't be much better.
* Simon of Cyrene in ''Literature/TheBible'', making this OlderThanFeudalism.
* In "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank", Erma Bombeck writes about how she went to the ladies' room during a Girl Scout leaders meeting. When she got back, she found she'd been volunteered to be in charge of the cookie sale. It didn't turn out well...
* Used unusually in ''Literature/TheBookThief''. The commander asked for one man who would stay out of battle that day. Nobody can volunteer without being branded a coward, but if you GotVolunteered... (and Hans Hubermann does).
* In ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'' (a parody of ''The Lord of the Rings''), the Fellowship is formed by everyone nominating someone else to accompany the ring. About half of these are revenge for being nominated; e.g., Legolam names Gimlet, so Gimlet drags Legolam along.
* In ''[[Literature/CiaphasCain For the Emperor]]'', after a riot gone bad, some soldiers under Cain's command are sentenced to death by "volunteering on the next suicide mission". Cain is satisfied with this judgment (he had maneuvered to avoid an execution that would be disastrous for morale) until he's himself required on a very dangerous mission, meaning he has to take ''them'' along instead of more reliable soldiers.
* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', when Karyl says that he won't train anyone who's not a volunteer, he's quickly presented with forty people. It takes only few minutes for him to find out that all but three of them have been volunteered by their lords. Being TheSocialExpert, he quickly manages to turn them into true volunteers.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s Nobby Nobbs has such an intense fear of this, he once jumped out of a second story window, when the nobles attempted to "volunteer" him to be the ruler of Ankh-Morpork. This is reinforced by the fact that the only 'logical' outcome he sees is that Commander Vimes will, in Nobby's words, "go spare" and behead him for becoming a king (Vimes's ancestor being a notorious regicide). Even being told that he could have Vimes executed did not reassure Nobby--for good reason.
** This has happened so often to Rincewind that in ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' he volunteers ("I do not wish to volunteer", followed shortly after by "I'm volunteering. I just don't ''wish'' to.") just to get it over with.
** Inverted in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'' when the handmaiden Ptraci refuses to drink poison so she can be interred with the recently deceased king of Djelibeybi. ("It's voluntary, isn't it?" "Well, yes... but she won't do it!")
** Played with in Jingo when Vimes asks Sergeant Detritus to find volunteers; Vimes is looking for genuine volunteers, but Sergeant Detritus promptly volunteers everyone. ("'sright, sir. They volunteered all right, I saw to that.")
*** Also in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', Nobby and Colon are volunteered by Leonard of Quirm for the submarine (or rather [[GiverOfLameNames Going Under the Water Safely Device]]) mission to Leshp. They try to run away, but Vetinari puts a stop to that.
* Happens in the novel [[Literature/HoratioHornblower ''A Ship of the Line'']]. As his ship was undercrewed, Hornblower had exempted sailors from the merchant convoy he was escorting press-ganged in his crew. When the captains of the convoy protested he said his sailors had misunderstood his orders and that he had sent them to search for volunteers, and that he'd check who was a volunteer and who was pressed... And as soon as the convoy captains return to their ships, he sends the signal "All volunteers".
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'', the narrator notes that he never got actually asked if he volunteered.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** In the {{Novelization}} of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'', Obi-Wan asks the rest of the Jedi Council who will lead the hunt for General Grievous. Everyone else looks straight at him.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr'' series. Duke Anderson tells the protagonist Jim [=McCarthy=] he does have the option of refusing to go on a dangerous mission, but then he'll be on the first chopper out of here because a soldier who won't take risks is useless to him. It's also made clear there are legal precedents involving the use of soldiers on dangerous missions; if a soldier [[WeHaveReserves isn't being properly supported]], for instance, he can refuse to obey any further orders.
* In ''Literature/TheSpiritThief'', Miranda volunteers Eli and his entourage to help solve the crisis in Mellinor because they're the ones who inadvertently caused it in the first place.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' sort of subverts this. Maj. Winters asks for volunteers to check out a suspicious house in the forest; although he does "volunteer" two guys, Blithe ''does'' volunteer by his own volition, which is even more awesome as he had a nervous breakdown a few scenes before.
** One could also interpret Blithe's state of mind at that point to be in permanent GotVolunteered. He does not want to be in the war but he does not have a choice. Winters might have asked for volunteers but The War has already volunteered Blithe for the patrol.
** This is also true of a lot of the men in Easy Company, revealed in the book: they knew the war was coming, they knew they couldn't dodge the draft, and they volunteered for the paratroopers because they were the elite and got paid extra. So essentially, they knew they were about to get volunteered for the war one way or the other, and then volunteered because they wanted to be the best of the best (and be surrounded by compatriots who are the best of the best) to increase their chances of survival. And get some extra cash in the process.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' HalloweenEpisode, principal Snyder "volunteers" students to escort trick-or-treaters.
-->'''Xander:''' Note his interesting take on the word "volunteer".
* ''Series/{{Copper}}'' has a dark version of this. After the New York Draft Riots, the Union Army has to once again rely on recruiting volunteers and there are very few of those left in New York City. Desperate, they subcontract the recruiting to civilians and look the other way when the 'volunteer' does so against his will. Once the victim signs the recruitment papers, any protestations that he was kidnapped fall on deaf ears. Corcoran finds the practice deplorable and when he catches the mastermind of the scheme, he shows CruelMercy by 'volunteering' the man for the army at gunpoint.
* ''Series/DangerUXB'' begins with the newly-commissioned protagonist being assigned to a bomb disposal unit, much to his shock. There's a cold pragmatism involved given the HighTurnoverRate of such a job; an EnsignNewbie promoted up from the ranks is more expendable than a Sandhurst-educated officer who might feel it's his duty to volunteer.
* On an episode of ''Series/DiffrentStrokes'', Arnold gets a letter saying he's been drafted (he's around 10-12 at the time). He later has a dream where he's in the army and the commanding general (Dad) asks for a volunteer for a suicide mission. The other soldiers do the "everyone step backward" routine.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut "The Impossible Astronaut"]], the Doctor asks Rory if he wouldn't mind checking out some creepy tunnels with River Song. When Rory says "yeah, kinda," the Doctor replies, "Then I appreciate it all the more." Rory just shrugs and climbs down into the hatch.
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E12DeathInHeaven Death in Heaven]]", Kate explains to the Doctor that in the event of worldwide invasion, international law dictates that a president be appointed to command all of Earth's forces. There was only one candidate.
--->'''The Doctor:''' Oh for crying out loud, that's your answer to everything, isn't it? Elect an idiot!\\
'''Kate:''' [[ServileSnarker If you say so, Mister President]].
* On ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'', in the season 2 episode "Baseball", Gus has to volunteer staff members, including Dave, Damien and George to play in a corporate game of baseball. Alex is offended when she ''isn't'' volunteered, being a woman.
* Happened all the time to Oliver on ''Series/GreenAcres''. Typical plot: The town's residents would come up with a ZanyScheme, Oliver would rise to protest and get cut off as everybody thanks him for volunteering to lead the scheme.
* In ''Series/HogansHeroes'', whenever Hogan needed someone to do a dangerous mission, he'd usually single out Lebeau and thank him for volunteering, despite him not saying anything, much to his chagrin.
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'':
** "The Frogs and the Lobster": The British Army troops lead by Major Edrington are supposed to collaborate with the French royalist troops in France. Captain Pellew thinks they might need someone who would reduce the tension between the two camps, and he suggests his favourite pet of a lieutenant, the up-and-coming Horatio in front of everybody. Now, Horatio really cannot say no to his captain, can he?
** "Retribution": Acting Captain Buckland needs a volunteer to blow up a Spanish fort. It's a bit of SuicideMission and not of vital importance, and everybody suspects Buckland tries to pull off TheUriahGambit. Buckland doesn't name Horatio aloud, but his look says it all and Horatio complies. After he got volunteered, Lieutenants Kennedy and Bush try to offer themselves to help Horatio, and do all they can to abort the mission, but Buckland refuses.
* In ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'', Charlie gets third-party-volunteered so often that the things he's volunteered for are called "Charlie Work" by the other characters. They call it that to the character's face and he still does it. Charlie reveals in a later episode that he actually doesn't mind the work itself, he just hates being told what to do.
* Yet another variation: on ''Series/{{Lost}}'', Hurley is looking for someone to help him jump-start the Dharma van. Everyone else walks away, except Jin, who doesn't speak English and has no idea what he just "volunteered" to do. Hurley cheerfully acknowledges this fact.
* In the ''Series/{{MASH}}'' episode "Edwina", one nurse was so clumsy that all of the men were afraid to go out with her. The other nurses got together and refused to go out with any of the men unless one of them agreed to go on a date with her. The men drew straws and Hawkeye was chosen to "volunteer" for the job.
* In ''Series/{{Monk}}'', this has happened:
** The second variant happens in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage" when Randy is selecting volunteers for a PoliceLineup.
** Another variant happens in "Mr. Monk and the Magician." Monk's claustrophobia prevents him from getting into [[spoiler:Torini's]] [[DisappearingBox Zig-Zag Cabinet]] to find evidence of drug trafficking. Natalie stands up to volunteer, but [[spoiler:Torini]] immediately picks Monk, who is still sitting down.
* The ''Series/MontyPython'' sketch "Ypres, 1915" has a platoon of four men approached by their superior sergeant saying that an enemy line can be breached but there are rations only enough for four (including the sergeant). One of the men must take the bullet, so to speak, so it becomes a contest of drawing straws, "dip dip dip, my little ship," rock-paper-scissors, and such. The armless padre finally speaks up and volunteers to sacrifice himself, which has him going into a long-winded speech leading to the Hospital for Overacting sketch.
* Clifford ended up as the host of ''Series/MuppetsTonight'' because he was on the phone when Kermit asked for a volunteer, causing him to miss the cue everyone else used to flee the conference room.
* Series/{{Mythbusters}} Build Team method of choosing a volunteer, Ro-Sham-Bo, generally ends with Tory having two fingers pointed at him.
** Another method used is for the other two members to say "not it!" before the third even finished explaining the myth.
** Before blowing up their cement truck, Adam and Jamie wanted to see just how bad the job of removing cement with a jackhammer would be, and volunteered Tory for the task.
* ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' had an episode called "Guide to Volunteering", in which ''no'' voluntary volunteering took place, just school-required community service.
* On ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'', [[spoiler: Piper "wins" Healy's vote for the white representative on the WAC board, despite that she didn't enter the election and specifically told Healy that she didn't want the position.]]
* ''Series/OurMissBrooks'': Miss Brooks often finds herself volunteered by Mr. Conklin to do his secretarial, typing or speechwriting work for him; i.e. "Aunt Mattie Boynton", "Public Property on Parade".
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', Rimmer mentions that Lister once put his name on the waiting list for experimental piles surgery.
** In another episode, they stumble upon their personnel files. Rimmer's says "There's a saying amongst the officers: if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well. If it's not worth doing, give it to Rimmer'".
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': In "The Sinatra Group", an irritable Music/FrankSinatra heads an angry round-table discussion with Sinead O'Connor, Luther Campbell, Billy Idol, and Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. When a shouting match with Idol boils up into a fight, Frank yells "Steve -- kick his ass!" Steve obediently steps up, and gets curb-stomped.
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Sisko, O'Brien, Bashir, and Worf's son Alexander are taking part in the Road to Kal'Hyah, the Klingon bachelor party equivalent. When told about the ritual shedding of blood, Worf asks for volunteers. Collectively, Sisko, O'Brien, and Alexander look to each other and step back, leaving Bashir to go first.
--> '''Worf:''' I did not expect you to be the first, Doctor.\\
'''Bashir:''' ''[looks at others]'' Neither did I.
** Bashir's recruitment into [[NoSuchAgency Section 31]] counts, as Sloan doesn't take "no" for an answer.
** One episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' has Tom sound enthusiastic to volunteer for a silly assignment, only to volunteer his best friend Harry for the job. Harry manages to get him back by volunteering Tom for an even more ridiculous and embarrassing assignment later on.
** In another episode, Tom acquires a slightly used shuttle and volunteers Harry to help him restore it.
** In yet another episode, Tom needs someone to play Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People in his [[ShowWithinAShow ''Captain Proton'' holoprogram]]. Numerous eyes turn to [[MsFanservice Seven of Nine]], but Tom's already decided that Captain Janeway would be a more suitable choice. She is ''not'' amused.
** Tom is also "volunteered" early on to assist The Doctor as a nurse because of his rather minimal medical training. This sort of falls by the wayside for a while because of Kes joining the ship, but ends up becoming a much more major plot thread once Kes leaves the series.
* In ''Series/VeronicaMars'', Logan volunteers his father to donate money to a soup kitchen. He does so publicly enough and with grand enough reception that his father can't back out without looking like an ass. However, behind closed doors Aaron brutally beats Logan in response.
* On ''Series/WhiteCollar'', this is how Neal and Jones end up participating in a bachelor's auction.
-->'''Peter:''' Neal, raise your hand.\\
'''Neal:''' Do I have to?\\
'''Peter:''' Yes.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' encourages [=PCs=] to throw their underlings under the bus this way, while pretending that you're doing them a favor ("Suck-R, go disarm that berserk scrubot, you'll probably get a commendation for it"). If the underling seems devious enough to actually pull it off, then you may need to pile on some complications ("oh, but leave your toolkit here, we wouldn't want it to get damaged").
** And then there are the Mandatory Bonus Duties.

* ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'' contains the musical number "But, Mr. Adams," where each member of the Committee of Five tries to get out of writing the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, despite his objections that he has to go home to see his wife, ends up with the quill pen.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Theatre/UniversalsHorrorMakeUpShow'', one of the hosts will pick someone from the audience to be an "unwilling" participant in the show all on his own, not taking any raised hands.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* If you pick Morrigan for CombatByChampion against [[spoiler: Loghain]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''.
-->'''Morrigan:''' Oh, I shall, shall I? Tis so kind of you to ''volunteer me''.
* In ''VideoGame/Fallout1'', one of the pre-made player characters has as his back story that he was simply the only one dumb enough to leave the vault (the other two characters were ones who JumpedAtTheCall).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' - the party needs to get to Upper Junon and fortunately there's a high-voltage tower that they might be able to get to the top of, if only ''somebody'' is willing to risk taking a chance leaping with "Mr. Dolphin" to make sure that option will be alright.
-->'''Tifa:''' High voltage tower... I guess this means Cloud'll be all right.\\
'''Aeris:''' Yeah, better leave it to Cloud!\\
'''Red XIII:''' We're counting on you, Cloud.\\
'''Cloud:''' Hey!! Wait a second!
* During the D-District Prison sequence in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', one of the team has to stay behind to operate the lift that will take the rest of the team to the ground floor of the prison. Quistis and Selphie, by mutual silent agreement, promptly volunteer a dismayed Zell for the job.
* In ''VideoGame/IgglePop'', Fizzy learns that he was the one to rescue all the Iggles after Doc made all the arrangements.
-->'''Dr. Iggle''': ''"Ahh... There you are, Fizzy! I'm so glad that you've volunteered to help me, the Great Doctor Iggle, in out hour of need!"''
-->'''Fizzy''': ''"I what? Volunteer? But I've never even heard of you..."''
* While you were out adventuring in the ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', your guild had a meeting, and decided that Gorgolok/Stella/Spaghetti Elemental/Lumpy/Spirit of New Wave/Lopez is ''your'' Nemesis, so you GotVolunteered for the single longest spanning quest in the game.
** In an interesting twist, you do have a chance to [[RefusalOfTheCall refuse the call]]. It's an optional quest, in that you don't need to complete it to finish the game, so you can completely ignore it without affecting the storyline of the game.
* In VideoGame/KingsQuest2015 Chapter 1, if you didn't take the bravery path, the Daventry guards will ask for a volunteer to find Achaka. If so, the other knights all take one step back, thrusting the responsibility onto you.
* The story to ''[[MagiNation Magi-Nation]]'' kicks off when protagonist [[strike:Foney Bones]]Tony Jones gets 'volunteered' to go spelunking for a cave treasure, by two guys who tried and failed to foist the task upon one of their younger brothers.
* In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga'', Luigi gets drafted into the adventure by Bowser, who takes sending Mario off for volunteering.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** One dialogue option in the opening of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is Shepard asking the Illusive man if s/he's volunteering or being volunteered. The Illusive Man tells him/her s/he can walk away, but to check out Freedom's Progress first. Shepard wants to take out the Reaper threat too much and no one else is willing to believe and help him/her, so this is more of a case of [[MagnificentBastard The Illusive Man]] [[BatmanGambit knowing]] Shepard ''won't'' not jump at the chance.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard gets volunteered by Anderson at the beginning to seek help from the Council, promptly reinstating their commission and then ''ordering'' them to after Shepard points out they technically don't answer to him anymore. After Shepard convinces the various planetary leaders to attend a peace summit, Hackett makes Shepard humanity's representative, despite their protests they're just a soldier and ''not'' a diplomat.
* A lot of the [[DirtyCommunists Soviet soldiers]] sent to OneMillionBC in the game ''VideoGame/OriginalWar'' are implied to be this. Maybe all: the fact that it is a one-way trip only makes this very likely.
* ''VideoGame/Portal2'':
** In [[AllThereInTheManual companion material]], protagonist Chell originally wasn't even intended to be a test subject due to her psychological profile indicating [[{{Determinator}} near-pathological tenacity]], but a paranoid-schizophrenic researcher who survived [=GLaDOS=]' purge altered her records to get her into the testing program. [[SpannerInTheWorks The rest is history.]]
** Wheatley's done this too. [[spoiler: In the final battle, he boasts that Chell isn't the first test subject he broke out of Cryo-Sleep and sent off to get a portal gun. Just the first to survive. There's a chance he's lying given the circumstances, though.]]
* In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI'', none of the fairies want to give the hero any fairy dust, so they make a fairy named Mikey do it.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'', Sonic and his friends arrive in the center of Eggman's pyramid base, but they need a key to enter inside. Sonic suggests that Knuckles should find it since he's "the world's greatest treasure hunter", much to his chagrin.
* In ''VideoGame/ThemsFightinHerds'', Pom the sheep was the only Sheepkin brave enough to suggest that the Meadow enter a representative for the battle to be Key Keeper, so the rest of her kind declared her "the bravest of all" and made her become a Key Seeker.
* During a mission briefing in ''VideoGame/WingCommander'', Spirit volunteers herself and Maverick for a mission.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'':
** The Volunteer is a psionic trooper you pick to lead a very crucial and dangerous mission [[spoiler:aboard the alien Temple Ship]]. Despite the title, ''you'' have to choose a soldier yourself from the ones you have. [[FridgeBrilliance Fridge]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Awesome]] when you realise this implies that ''every single one of your psi-enabled soldiers'' volunteered for the duty, so it's up to you, the commander, to break the deadlock and make the final decision.
** In the ''Enemy Within'' expansion, the soldiers you nominate to undergo the gene therapy in order to become {{Super Soldier}}s, and those who are [[{{Cyborg}} cybernetically augmented]] in order to pilot the [[MiniMecha MEC Troopers]], are also referred to as "volunteers".
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'', your protagonist Rean Schwarzer ends up helping out the Student Council because Instructor Sara "volunteered" him for it. He agrees to Sara's request to get the journals from Towa in the Student Council room, but when he gets there, Towa tells him "thank you for everything," and he's confused, she clarifies about how pleased she is that he agreed to help out the Student Council with their work on his free days. Of course, he agreed to no such thing, but upon seeing how overworked Towa already appears, he can hardly refuse.

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* Naegi and then Hinata in the ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'' games get saddled with this a lot.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* This happens a lot to Avimo in ''Webcomic/{{Aquapunk}}''. Too many times to count, almost.
* Robin in ''Webcomic/BooksDontWorkHere'' gets "volunteered" in the first page and has yet to be given the chance to back out.
* Susan and Nanase from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' (especially Susan) during their trip to Paris [[spoiler: to kill an aberration]].
** In one of the greatest WhatTheHellHero moments in history, they got two teenagers to [[spoiler:kill someone when it would be easier and faster for them to go to the authorities, more reliable and wouldn't have put two girls in the first year of high school in mortal danger]]. To summarize how much of a jackass the Immortals where being, see [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2010-05-31 here]]
* Pato, from ''Webcomic/M9Girls'', gets shoved to the front of the line for radiation treatment, despite being the most skeptical about it.
* In ''Webcomic/RedString'', Miharu's cousin Karen volunteers Miharu to help at the family restaurant, causing Miharu to miss a date.
* In [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2006-02-28 this strip]] of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', company lawyer Massey Reynstein demonstrates a knowledge of how to tackle the financial end of a mission, and is promptly volunteered to take care of it since everyone else in the company prefers a more brute-force approach.
* When [[WideEyedIdealist Spoorflix]] ask Webcomic/{{Vexxarr}} why he thinks Spoorflix's people didn't expect him to succeed, he responds with "Let's say I know a thing or two about being volunteered for one-way missions."
* In ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'', Bud [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/need-just-one/ got volunteered]] to recover an artifact from Ireland.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Done several times in ''Script/AHDotComTheSeries'', usually with perennial [[ButtMonkey Butt Monkeys]] Luakel or Michael as the "volunteer".
* In the opening episode of ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'''s second season, [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou fourth wall destroying]] HumanoidAbomination Mr. Popo abruptly shows up to talk to the heroes and announce that he knows the location of a spaceship that will enable them begin a journey to bring their friends BackFromTheDead, and will bring one of them to the ship and show them how to work it. Since he's, well, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxr10LlOp48 Mr. Popo,]] nobody is volunteering to go with him. [[WrenchWench Bulma]] says they should vote on who goes to be fair, and the instant she finishes saying that everyone immediately votes for Bulma. She is ''not'' pleased by this turn of events.
** Also happens in the ''Bardock: Father Of Goku'' special, when Bardock charges Frieza and declares that he and the Mook army he's fighting are done taking orders from the tyrant.
--> '''Mook''': Seriously, we're not with him!
* [[WebVideo/EchoChamber Zack]] is only involved with Tom's show. because the camera equipment belongs to his father and Zack's dad made Tom let him tag along, and Tom put him to work.
* In ''Literature/ThaliasMusings'', this happens to Apollo when he tries to get Thalia out of watching eternal adolescent Eros for the day. (She owed [[BetterAsFriends Hephaestus]] a favor.) Hephaestus thinks Apollo is volunteering to help. Apollo is too nice to refuse.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'', Jimmy needs to make a [[FantasticVoyagePlot Fantastic Voyage]] into one of his friends to retrieve an antidote that will cure a virus that is making him and his classmates sick. Sheen raises his hand while saying, "I volunteer...Carl to be the person we go inside."
* In one episode of ''The Adventures Of Super Mario Bros. 3'', King Koopa has already decided which Koopalings will take part in his latest scheme, and orders them to step forward. What happens is that the rest of the Koopalings ''step back'', while the 'volunteers' remain perfectly still.
* This is how Robert Freeman ended up as one of the freedom fighters in the '60s in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks''.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaspersScareSchool'' uses the "everyone else steps back" variant in the episode ''Monster Movie''. When Casper needs a volunteer to do the behind the scenes work for his movie (and thus can't get a role), everyone but Quasi (who is busy reading a dictionary) steps back.
* ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'': In "Too Many Kooks", Dick Dastardly is tired of Klunk's failed plans to capture Yankee-Doodle Pigeon and "volunteers" Zilly to come up with their next plan.
* ''WesternAnimation/DocMcStuffins'':
** This happens to Stuffy in "Dragon's Best Friend" when toy pet of some sort named Squibbles takes a shine to him. Stuffy doesn't really like him at first because he finds him annoying because he keeps tailing after him and doing stuff like jumping on him and licking him. But when Squibbles is scared of getting a checkup from Doc, Stuffy is volunteered to accompany him to calm him down because he's the only one that can and then later is volunteered to keep him busy while Doc heads out to put up signs to try to find his owner.
** Stuffy is also "volunteered" to check things out when the group briefly catches a glimpse of Tigger after first arriving in the Hundred Acre Wood in "Into the Hundred Acre Wood."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "The Spy Who Didn't Love Me", Dodgers gets teleported onto a planet and right in front of a group of resistance just as they were asking for a volunteer for a dangerous mission.
-->'''Dodgers:''' Why is everyone cheering?\\
'''Yoshimi:''' You just volunteered for a suicide mission.\\
'''Dodgers:''' [[OhCrap ...Oh.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'', the Eds need to dig something up from underneath the Kanker's trailer. Edd and Eddy take one look at how disgusting it is before deciding to make Ed dig.
* The following exchange in the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Joe's Revenge":
-->'''Peter:''' Quagmire and I'll help you bring this guy to justice!\\
'''Quagmire:''' Peter, what'd I say about you volunteering me for shit?
* In the episode "When Aliens Attack" in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', aliens invade Earth, so Bender and all other robots have their patriotism chip activated so that he will be ''forced'' to join the army and carry out any order that was given to him.
-->''[Zapp Brannigan presses a button on a remote and activates Bender's patriotism chip]''\\
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHairBearBunch'' debut episode "Keep Your Keeper" has zookeeper Peevly taking a six-month vacation, and his replacement is a bruiser named Grunch.
-->'''Grunch:''' I need three volunteers for the clean-up duty. {''Points to Bubi and Square'') You, you, (''to Hair'') and especially ''you!''
* The "everyone steps backward" variant was used in a ''WesternAnimation/HeckleAndJeckle'' cartoon, featuring the two birds as Canadian mounties.
* The "stepping back" variant was used in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'', with [[NoIndoorVoice Loud]] as the "volunteer".
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheHive'', when Dr. Beetle comes to school for a medical checkup, he asks who wants to go first. Everyone is scared stiff and Buzzbee is called on when he falls over backward out of fright, his movement being mistaken for enthusiasm.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', after Tohru is picked as TheChosenOne, the monks state that a great warrior will come forward to protect him until he is awakened. Jade and Uncle push Jackie forward.
* A ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics'' episode has the Yogis do the "everyone steps backwards" when WesternAnimation/YogiBear calls for volunteers for the damming the Zuider Zee event, and only Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy are left standing.
* The other ponies do this to Minty in ''[[Franchise/MyLittlePony A Charming Birthday]]''.
* "Stand By Me" from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'' seems to have variant 4 in the classroom trial when a defending attorney is needed for Teddy and everyone except Sweetheart steps backwards. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when she then steps forward and says she'd be happy to do it.
* The "everyone steps backward" variant also happened in the cartoon ''WesternAnimation/NorthwestHoundedPolice'' where every member of the mounted police stand back, except for Sgt. [=McPoodle=], alias Droopy, who then has to go capture the villain.
* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', "The Last Laserdisc Player": In their pre-fight speech, the Guardians of Obsolete Formats essentially do this by declaring that Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost would rather die than give up the last laserdisc without even asking for their input.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy'' episode "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen", the Yaksmen chief gives an enthusiastic RousingSpeech in order to get volunteers for their latest dangerous mission. Stimpy is filled with such patriotic fervor[[note]]Along his usual "eediotic" fervor.[[/note]] that he volunteers not only himself, but also Ren, who wanted no part of it.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewScoobyDooMovies'':
** Happens in an episode featuring WesternAnimation/TheHarlemGlobetrotters. Whenever an unpleasant task needs to be done, Meadowlark Lemon would trick bald Curly Neal into making an implicating gesture, such as asking whether he would like to go ("Who, ''me?''"), or asking whether Curly had grown hair (''Curly raises hand to feel head'').
--->'''Meadowlark:''' You're a natural-born hero.\\
'''Curly:''' I'm a natural-born sucker!
** Another episode, "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner", has detective Homer Pipsqueak (Creator/DonKnotts) asking for volunteers from the gang to lure two ghosts to an anticipated capture. Nobody volunteers:
--->'''Pipsqueak:''' Aw, come on, squad! Let's see some hands. ''[Scooby reluctantly raises his paw]''\\
'''Shaggy:''' Okay, Scoob. Like, ya gotta be a hero. ''[Shaggy raises his hand]''
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "New Kids on the Blecch", Music/{{NSYNC}} shipped JC off to the Navy without his knowledge.
* When the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' kids are desperately trying to find a TV in town they can watch, Cartman tries to get a bar to let them stay with "Butters will give handjobs in the corner for a dollar!" Earlier in the same episode, Butters was volunteered to [[ItMakesSenseInContext go to the store for tampons]] and risk missing the trailer, the excuse being a game called "if your name is Butters you have to go."
--> '''Stan''': Dude, thank god for stupid people.
** In another episode, Cartman volunteers Butters as a sacrifice to [[{{Squick}} NAMBLA]] so the other boys can escape by telling him to "take one for them team".(This sort of thing happens to [[ButtMonkey Butters]] on a fairly regular basis.)
--> '''Butters''': You expect me to let those horny old men have their way with my fragile person?! Just what team is this anyway?!
--> '''Cartman''': Damnit Butters, there's not much time!
--> '''Butters''': [[ExtremeDoormat Oh alright then]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': In [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS2E05WingsOfTheMaster "Wings of the Master"]], Kanan volunteers Hera to go get a new ship the rebels need, on the grounds that she's the best pilot.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'': In the episode "The Deputation", the engines propose that Percy be the one to tell The Fat Controller not to send Donald and Douglas away. He was nervous about it at first, but goes through it, and thankfully, The Fat Controller decides that the twins will be a part of his railway.
* Saw the "step backwards" method used and played with in one ''{{Popeye}}'' cartoon. And used in one ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'', where Spike is a kind of drill sergeant for poor Tom.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaWorldTour'', Team Victory does this to DJ for a very unpleasant pinball challenge.
** Later, Courtney, Heather, and Sierra do this to Gwen, and Owen and Noah do this to Tyler to have them [[ItMakesSenseInContext strip down guards.]]
** Gwen and Courtney then do this Heather for the torture rack challenge.
* When ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' met UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte, he tried to have them executed for humiliating him (the team had accidentally scared off his army when they arrived, and it didnt help when Tuddrussel thought he was a little kid). When Napoleon asks who wants to go first, Tuddrussel says that it's up to him to "step up"... and promptly kicks Larry into stepping forward.
---> '''Larry:''' Ugh, ''fine!'' ''[puts his head in the guilliotine]''
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' has an episode where Stan decides to revive the high school wrestling program he was part of in school (it was shut down after it turned out that the coach was molesting his wrestlers. He's currently [[ComicallyMissingThePoint the baseball couch]]) and when none of the students volunteers, forcibly recruits Steve and his friends. While Steve and Snot predictably underperforms (at one point, Steve loses to a wrestler ''with no legs'') Barry turns out to be a real wrestling prodigy. This comes back to bite Stan in the ass, as Barry starts to close in on his school record of 20 wins in a row, with Stan trying to get Barry to lose becoming the focus of the episode.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Fun Fact: In Flemish-Dutch there is an expression for this concept: Chinese Volunteer.
** This expression dates back to the Korean War, where Chinese citizens were forced to fight for the North-Korean side, while still being referred to as volunteers.
* British Royal Navy during the UsefulNotes/NapoleonicWars used to supplement its crews, consisting primarily of volunteers and [[PressGanged pressed men]], also by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quota_System_(Royal_Navy) Quota System]], consisting of "volunteers" provided by counties. This often resulted in TradingBarsForStripes deals.
* "being volun-told" is common in the US military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadians in civilian life.
* The US military has a number of sayings for this trope:
** "Never be first, never be last, and never, ever volunteer for anything."
** "God hates volunteers."
** "What does 'NAVY' stand for in the US? Never Again Volunteer Yourself."
* The Canadian Armed Forces loves this one:
** One example is to be "voluntold" to do something. Sometimes you're "lucky" and you at least get credit and thanks for volunteering (even though it was mandatory), and sometimes they don't even try and hide it; your sergeant will flat-out tell you he's voluntold you for a task.
** "Who likes ice cream?" is used to trick new guys into volunteering. Need someone to go shovel snow or be honor guard? Ask the unit who likes ice cream and see which private-basic or ordinary seaman sticks his hand up.
** Being voluntold is often used to punish "Chit Bags", soldiers who try and get out of work by [[PlayingSick constantly going to the M.I.R.]] Once a man or woman is branded as a Chit Bag, he or she will pretty much be voluntold to do ''every single crappy tasking there is''.
** Sometimes this is inverted as well. Need a group to do something? Say you need volunteers and whoever is brave enough to take the bullet and stick their hands up ''doesn't'' have to do it
* Proving once again that "Thrifty" means "Steal everything not copywritten to hell and back", the Boy Scouts of America have stolen most Got Volunteered jokes, with the most popular being that one was "voluntold" to do something.
** Bonus points for Scout Staff. They will regularly perform an "Enthusiasm Check", and mention "AND THE BEST PART IS, I DON'T GET PAID!"
* "Mandatory Fun", an ostensibly voluntary morale-boosting event (an athletic competition, military ball, or other non-duty social event) that everyone is required to attend (whether officially required or merely ''very heavily encouraged'' to attend). It hasn't been unheard of for attendance to be optional, but for all non-attendees to be required to perform some particularly unpleasant or monotonous duty as an alternative. Bonus points if the attendees have to pay out of pocket to attend said event.
** Schools have Mandatory Fun as well. For example, a pep rally that's "optional", but if you don't want to go, you have to sit in the library and can't leave school early. If you have to stay on the school premises anyway, you might as well go to the pep rally (unless you really do get more enjoyment out of curling up with a good book).
* In the Soviet Union, there was a saying, "Collectivization is a voluntary affair" (original full version: "collectivization is a voluntary affair, choose to opt in or get shot"), which was in essence used as a trope name back before anyone had ever heard of tropes. In fact, so many assignments that were ''de jure'' voluntary were ''de facto'' obligatory, to the point of inspiring tongue-in-cheek oxymoronic terms like "voluntary obligation".
* In the Cadet Corps, a call for volunteers means everyone has to raise their hands. The "volunteers" are consequently picked at random (that or they're the last ones to raise their hands).
* George Washington wrote letters to his wife talking about how he didn't want to lead the Continental Army and how he felt completely inadequate to the task. This was a justified trope back then because no one would pick the person that volunteered so he would show up at meetings in full uniform as a way of suggesting it.
* Twins Henrik and Joel Lundqvist played ice hockey together as kids. One day, Joel volunteered his brother to play goalie in a pickup game. Henrik is now one of the best goaltenders in the game.
* This happened to Russian now-writer-then-journalist Vera Kamsha. She made friends with an already famous fantasy writer Nick Perumov, and he kept pushing her to writing fantasy herself. She wrote a book intended as a parody containing all of the most popular fantasy tropes, just so he would see she's not a writer, and sent it to him. [[PoesLaw Cue phone call from a publisher asking when the sequel would be ready]] - Perumov sent her book to the publisher and said there would be a sequel. Of course she felt the obligation to write the book and ended up, if many critics are to be believed, as Russian Creator/GeorgeRRMartin. (oh, and the first book, compared to the later ones, was truly horrible... but still better then most of the market. That's talent for you)
* The term used in some circles is the "Designated Volunteer."
* So called "Welfare for Work" policies essentially force a person to 'volunteer' for jobs that the groups involved couldn't afford someone to pay. If the 'volunteer' is lucky, they might get a small bonus on their welfare payment. The tasks involved are often YouGetMeCoffee sort of stuff.
* The Spanish-language pun word ''dedocracia'' (a play on ''democracia'' "democracy" and ''dedo'' "finger") often is used in this sense. You're the volunteer because everybody pointed at you!
* In certain countries, people were " resigned," as in they got volunteered to quit their jobs. In one case in Fascist Italy, a minister learned from radio broadcast that he had just resigned from his job.
* A British radar specialist during WWII was assigned to a commando mission to steal parts from a German radar installation. The mission was top secret, so he wasn't told why he'd been reassigned. When the man briefing him started with, "Now this mission you have volunteered for..." the reply was a surprised, "I have?"
* In the US Army, a piece of wisdom passed on to newly promoted Sergeants is to never ask for volunteers for a difficult or dangerous task. Not only is it an abdication of responsibility, but anyone dumb enough to do so is probably too stupid to carry it out properly. Pick the man you know is best suited for the job, and be sure to reward him later.