->'''Kirk:''' Well, for a man who swore he'd never return to Starfleet...
->'''[=McCoy=]:''' Just a moment, Captain, sir. I'll explain what happened. Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used "reserve activation clause." In simpler language, Captain, they ''drafted'' me!
-->-- ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture''

A person who, after having given up his old job, is reluctantly forced back into work because he's just [[RetiredBadass so damn good at it]]. Usually because his former colleagues have run into some desperate situation, and/or his replacements have failed. The opposite of ReluctantRetiree.

Often will be a police officer, soldier, or mercenary, but can be any job. RetiredGunfighter is a common starting point for this character, before they are forced into Mandatory Unretirement. Often set up as an extended TenMinuteRetirement or crossover with a ScrapHeapHero. This is one of the many [[ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest Perils of Being the Best]], as being so good that [[WeDoTheImpossible that you can do seemingly impossible things]] may mean that your life will never be your own.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'': In the side story "Golden Days with Captain Amigo," Sousuke and Kurz both find million dollar treasure. And both are shown to be in agreement that, once they get rich from this, they would both hightail it out of Mithril and retire, doing what they want. However, after they accidentally destroy an M6 AS, the higher-ups from Mithril take all the treasure from them as payment. Incidentally, it's revealed that the executives estimated the cost of damages to be ''higher'', thereby taking all the treasure and destroying both of their plans for retirement. Even more suspiciously, it's revealed that Kalinin had a hand in the expenses... and of course, Kalinin had showed numerous times his desire to keep Sousuke with him.
* A recurring theme in ''Manga/GetterRobo'' is that if you piloted Getter at some point, no matter how far you run from it, destiny keeps throwing you in the cockpit.
* At the end of the first season of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', Usagi wipes her and her friends' memories to give them yet another chance at a normal life without fighting. Come the second season, a new threat shows up and Luna is forced to restore her memories and reinstate her as Sailor Moon. Needless to say, Usagi is [[CantStayNormal not pleased]].
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the Third Hokage is forced back into active duty after the incident that sealed the Kyuubi inside the main character- and the death of the Fourth Hokage, obviously. He wasn't the only person who was seen as a viable candidate, but the village went with him because ''they knew where to find him''; [[spoiler:the future Fifth Hokage]] had no interest in the job, and had left the village entirely after retiring from its ninja forces.
* Kunieda Aoi of ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'' was the 3rd leader of [[AmazonBrigade the Red Tails]], a gang of the strongest ladies of Kanto who [[DoesNotLikeMen do not like men]], and as such getting a boyfriend means that you quit. Kunieda sports an incredibly obvious crush on Oga since their first meeting and quits accordingly; however, the gang (and the NumberTwo especially) do not accept it and still treat Kunieda as their boss. [[spoiler:Then the Red Tails' founder, through a special request, changes the rule about men, and afterward Kunieda reclaims her title after a showdown with the 2nd Red Tails leader who'd gone rogue along with the majority of the Red Tails.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' manga, Hiryu is forced out of his self-imposed retirement to [[ContractOnTheHitman murder his friend Cain]], who was captured while on duty and became a liability to the group. He reluctantly accepts the job after his superior [[{{Jerkass}} Matic]] threatens an entire village of innocents.

[[folder: Comic books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Red}}'': They should have left him alone.

* ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' has the RetiredGunslinger variation.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. After getting out of jail, Eddie wants to go straight but various villains coerce him into becoming a cat burglar again because they need his expertise.
* ''Film/HotShots'' and ''Film/HotShotsPartDeux''. In both movies, Topper Harley quit the military, but the U.S. government sought him out and recruited him for a secret mission.
* ''Film/OurManFlint'' and ''In Like Flint''. In both movies, Z.O.W.I.E. chief Cramden must convince his reluctant old military subordinate Derek Flint to join up and save the day.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. The Waco Kid is a RetiredGunfighter who gives up his drunken ways and becomes a hero again to help his friend Sheriff Bart save the town of Rock Ridge.
* ''Film/BigGame'' has a retired CIA operative brought back when the president goes missing because he's just that good.
* ''Film/{{Dreamscape}}''. Alex Gardner gave up psychic research to use his incredible abilities to make money by betting on horse races. After being threatened by a bookie he rejoins his old mentor, who needs him for a project that has him entering the minds of sleeping people and sharing their dreams.
* ''Film/{{Flatliners}}''. Brilliant student David Labraccio quits medical school after being forced to break the rules to save a patient's life. Although he's reluctant to do so, fellow student Nelson recruits him for a bizarre experiment to explore beyond the boundaries of life and death.
* ''Film/BladeRunner'', Rick Deckard is an ex-Blade Runner (Replicant hunter) who finds himself pulled back into OneLastJob.
* ''Film/{{Swordfish}}'', Stanley Jobson. although he was forced into "retirement" (convicted criminal) he is forced back into his criminal ways.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'': Korbin Dallas is a special forces soldier who gets called back into service for a mission after retiring and working as a cab driver. As per the trope he has no interest in the mission and only ends up agreeing to it because of a case of AlwaysSaveTheGirl.
* Mandatory ''Franchise/StarTrek'' example: In ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'', Kirk pulls a few strings and yanks [=McCoy=] out of retirement and back into his position as CMO, overruling and ending his objections with one memorable (and [[HoYay slashy]]) line: "I need you, Bones. I ''need'' you."
* K in ''Film/MenInBlackII'' is yanked from his peaceful life as a mailman to join the MIB again due to knowledge even he doesn't know he possesses.
* This is how Col. Jack O'Neil ends up involved in the events of ''Film/{{Stargate}}'', and becomes a recurring theme for him (see under Live Action TV below).
* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', the bad guys kidnap John Matrix's daughter in order to force him to do one last job for ''them''. Big mistake.
* Nick Charles in ''Film/TheThinMan'' series of films gets pulled back into detective work after his retirement.
* In ''Film/TheXFilesIWantToBelieve'', Scully works at a hospital and Mulder is still technically a wanted fugitive. The FBI recruits Scully to recruit Mulder (since she's the only one who knows where he is) to assist in investigating the X-Filean disappearence of another FBI agent. In exchange, all charges against Mulder are dropped and he's no longer a fugitive.
* ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII'' begins with Ethan Hunt retired from field duty and working only as an instructor, all ready to settle down and start a family.
* Vietnam veteran Mitchell Gant is brought out of retirement to steal the {{Film/Firefox}}.
* In ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', Ripley is called back to join the mission for her expertise after being suspended from work.
* ''Film/WorldWarZ'': Gerret, who was apparently one of his country's best investigators is pulled back into action because authorities want his help in stopping the ZombieApocalypse.
* In ''Film/WelcomeToThePunch'', Jacob Sternwood, an English biker robber, is forced to come out of his Icelandic retirement to save his arrested son in London.
* ''Film/GameOfDeath'': In the original version, Hai Tien (Bruce Lee) is a retired full contact world champion and initially refuses to take part in the "game of death" and only does so after his family is kidnapped by the Korean mafia.
* Happens a few different ways in ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In ''Film/ANewHope'', Obi-Wan Kenobi has been living in self-exile on Tatooine, until Luke Skywalker stumbles upon him while trying to recover a lost droid carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. As it happens, said droid, R2-D2, also carries a recorded message from Princess Leia begging Obi-Wan to help in her mission. While Obi-Wan doesn't put up much of an argument, it's worth noting that he'd been hiding out from the Empire for nearly twenty years at this point.
** ''Film/RogueOne'' presents Jyn Erso as an unusually young version of this trope, having previously been a ChildSoldier fighting with Saw Guererra and his Partisans. She was abandoned by Saw because he was afraid of what the Partisans might do if they found out her father was an Imperial weapons engineer, and struck out on her own until she was [[BoxedCrook conscripted]] by the Rebel Alliance when ''they'' found out who her father was.
** ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' has Han Solo and Chewbacca get roped into the new crisis soon after they find their old ship, The ''Millennium Falcon'', which was recently stolen (not from Han) by Rey and Finn. Before they have a chance to part ways, the planet they are visiting is attacked by the First Order, who are promptly fought off by The Resistance, which is revealed to be lead by Princess Leia. [[spoiler: She convinces Han not only to help destroy Starkiller Base, but also to try and convince their son Ben to come back from the Dark Side.]]
** ''Film/TheLastJedi'' has Luke following in Obi-Wan's footsteps, living in self-exile on Acht-to. Much of the plot involves Rey's attempts to convince him to come help. [[spoiler: Ultimately, she gives up on Luke and goes off to try and bring back Ben and save the Resistance herself, but Luke eventually comes around on his own.]]

* In the [[Literature/TheNightAngelTrilogy Night Angel books]], Kylar tries to retire to a new city with his love interest, but since this happens in book two of a three part series, it obviously doesn't work. Both his friends and his enemies go to some considerable effort to pull him back in.
* That's how Mackenzie Calhoun is pulled back into Starfleet (at least, the ''official'' Starfleet) in ''Literature/StarTrekNewFrontier''. That, plus that fourth pip, plus Jean-Luc Picard saying "Get the ''[[UnusualEuphemism groz]]'' in that Captain's chair, you idiot!" gets him fully back.
* Happens again and again to Wedge Antilles in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. As early as the first-set issue of the ComicBook/XWingSeries he's been contemplating retirement and believing that there was too much he still needed to contribute. In the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'', ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce'', and ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' he's been pulled out of retirement, because not only is he pretty much [[ImprobablePilotingSkills the greatest pilot alive]], he's a skilled and inventive tactician.
** Illustrative example from ''[[Literature/NewJediOrder Rebel Dream]]'':
-->'''[[SmugSnake Councilor Pwoe]]''': "I see now why Fey'lya never liked you, General. You should have been put out to pasture years ago."
-->'''Wedge''': "WithAllDueRespect, Councilor, ''I was''. If you and [[ObstructiveBureaucrat the rest of the Senate]] had handled this war in anything approaching a competent fashion, I could have been ''left'' there."
* [[Creator/JohnLeCarre George Smiley]] has retired at least three times and been brought back, albeit in an informal or advisory capacity, to clean up various messses made by his former colleagues in the security services. He does it enough that one character at the begining of ''[[Literature/TheQuestForKarla Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy]]'' insists, much to Smiley's chagrin, that his retirement (Smiley's second at that point) is merely cover.
* Slughorn in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince''.
* In ''Literature/InFuryBorn'', retired members of the Imperial Cadre are technically only put on Inactive Reserve, meaning that the government can reactivate them if they want to.
* A variation of this is used in ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Mission of Honor]]'', where following Oyster Bay both Admiral Givens and Admiral Caparelli offer their resignations and are told by royal edict that they will ''not'' be scapegoated and their badly needed arses are going nowhere.
* Crosses over with EmergencyImpersonation in the ''Literature/{{Relativity}}'' story "Caffeine Headache": Most of the people in the city begin acting weird due to something in the coffee. The superheroes struggle to maintain order, but the Black Torrent is in South America investigating the farms where the coffee originated. His father -- the ''original'' Black Torrent -- dons the superhero costume and goes out in his place.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' episode "The Chameleon''. When aliens land on Earth, government agents hunt down former secret agent Louis Mace because he's the best man for the job of infiltrating them.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': Jack Bauer in '''spades'''. Went on indefinite leave after Season One due to [[spoiler:the death of his wife Teri]], brought back in Season Two [[spoiler:after President David Palmer personally asked for his involvement in a nuclear threat]]. Left (or, more accurately, [[spoiler:was fired from]]) CTU after Season Three, forced himself back into CTU from a Department of Defense desk job after CTU kept screwing up under new leadership in Season Four. [[spoiler:Faked his death at the end of Season Four]], comes back in Season Five after [[spoiler:David Palmer is assassinated]]. [[spoiler:Gets captured and tortured by the Chinese for eighteen months after Season Five]], is returned in Season Six to [[spoiler:be sacrificed to the mastermind of a terrorist plot who has a personal axe to grind with Jack Bauer]]. Retired and [[spoiler:under investigation by the Senate]] just before Season Seven, whisked off by the FBI to help [[spoiler:find Tony Almeida]]. Judging by the trailers of Season Eight, this is ''definitely'' happening again.
* A common occurance in ''Series/{{JAG}}'' with [[TheHero Harmon Rabb]], resigning his commission once and he also transfered back to the fleet once. Mac also resigned for the duration of one episode in the third season.
* Gibbs "retires" at the end of Season 3 of ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. He's temporarily reinstated at the beginning of Season 4, and permanently reinstated by the end of the second episode.
* Bizarrely, this is how ''Series/StargateSG1'' ''started'': Col. Jack O'Neill had retired after the events of [[Film/{{Stargate}} the movie]], and they had to get him to un-retire for the series. Presumably an intentional parallel to how he was recruited in the movie.
* Happens several times to Thomas Magnum in ''Series/MagnumPI'' with the US Navy.
** In "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", MI6 calls Higgins back up for a FakeDefector job.
* Tommy Oliver in ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'', back in the spandex after seven years off-duty, when all he wants to do now is be a science teacher. Notably, the only reason he has to unretire is because "science teacher" was his ''second'' idea of how to have a peaceful post-Ranger career; his first was "mad scientist", and was such a disaster he had to become a Ranger again just to clean up after himself. He re-retires after that.
* ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'': Will Graham has retired from criminal profiling in the three year TimeSkip, but Jack brings him back into it to catch the Tooth Fairy.
* Averted in an episode of ''Series/KeyAndPeele'' with a sketch about a military officer visiting a retired veteran living in a shack in a remote location. The veteran ''thinks'' it's this trope, and keeps ranting about how he's not going to come back, no matter how they beg, even though he's "just as good as [he] ever was." The officer keeps protesting that they only want to ask him if he knows of anyone else with a comparable skill set, but the veteran just won't hear it and keeps both protesting and setting up challenges ("Try to hit me!") to prove he's the only person for the job (all of which he fails ''miserably'').

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Just about every 'retirement' ends up rescinded via this, usually with the retired guy having no other way to try and shut a young upstart up than to prove he's (still) as good as his reputation indicates.
* Wrestling/VinceMcMahon was pretty much retired from onscreen performing when he was kayfabe-removed from the position of COO back in the summer of 2011, during the Summer of Punk II. However, Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis proved to be an insufficient and rather incompetent replacement, with his feud with Punk being critically panned (especially in comparison to the Summer of Punk II, which is regarded as the best feud in ''years''). Meanwhile, Wrestling/TripleH, the only guy that could possibly fit into Vince's ''massive'' BadBoss shoes, was in a feud with Wrestling/BrockLesnar as a {{Face}}, and was for the most part a wrestler despite being the COO. So Vince for all intents and purposes came out of retirement to fulfill the role of the onscreen authority figure who has more power than the general manager.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Solid Snake is essentially kidnapped and blackmailed into starting the events of the game.
** In the [[GaidenGame non-canon spin-off game]], ''VideoGame/MetalGearGhostBabel'', it happens again, minus the kidnapping part, and appears to be more willing in this case.
** Then another gaiden game: ''VideoGame/MetalGearAcid'' came along where Snake was approached and asked politely by Rogers to participate in the plot, with Snake being a little more humble about it.
** Then it happens again in the fourth game. Kojima seems to really love this trope...
** It's apparently genetic, as something similar to [=MGS1=] happened to Big Boss to set off ''Portable Ops''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Descent}} II'' opens with Dravis informing the player character, Material Defender, that the contract he signed with PTMC allows them to retain his services for more missions; if he declines, he won't get paid for the work he's already done.
** And as anyone who has seen the intro for Descent III knows, he can't get a break even after Dravis tries to kill him, as his rescuers (who are the ''good guys'') use his desire for revenge to override his desire to just settle down somewhere nice and quiet.
* A meta-example: Dred Foxx, the voice actor for ''VideoGame/ParappaTheRapper'' back in the late 90's/early 00's, who hasn't done any voice work before or since was called out of "retirement" to reprise Parappa in ''VideoGame/PlaystationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' (2012).
* Garcia the warrior in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. Garcia gave up being a warrior to raise his son after his wife died, but Ross makes him realize that the battlefield is where he belongs after the two help Eirika and her crew drive off some bandits.
* Happens to both Maverick and Vagabond in ''VideoGame/WingCommander IV: The Price of Freedom''.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In the ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' story [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/6/25/ "Paint The Line,"]] Tycho and Gabe are forced out of retirement by the government. They're retired [[SeriousBusiness ping-pong players]].
* Retired Scout Edin Dan from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' had enough of the Tower-climbing nonsense… until [[MagnificentBastard Koon]] baited him into a bet, trying to win him for his ascending team. Edin tried to trick Koon, but got quickly OutGambitted.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the four part culmination of the Cadmus Arc in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', Cadmus uses this to get Captain Atom on their side by reactivating his commission to the U.S Army, under General Eiling.
* PlayedForLaughs in a flashback in the first SeasonFinale of ''WesternAnimation/YinYangYo'', where Master Yo is about to enjoy his retirement, only to be visited by spirits of past Woo Foo warriors who refuse to leave him alone unless he agrees to train Yin and Yang.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Many US military members were mandatorily called back into active duty on the start of the second Gulf War, in some cases because there was equipment being used that nobody knew how to maintain anymore.
** In fact, this is a case of AllThereInTheManual. The enlistment papers that you sign to join indicate that there is a period of time where you agree to be called back into duty according to the needs of the service. Usually your total commitment comes out to something like eight years total, including Active Duty, the Reserves, and the "Inactive Reserves" (the guys who get rudely yoinked back into duty.)
*** In theory, every able-bodied male who opted to register in the Selective Service (that's all able-bodied American males between the ages of 18 and 25) can be called into military duty, but any circumstances where that might actually happen could probably be considered horrific by themselves.
** Officers are theoretically subject to recall indefinitely, and must keep two uniforms in case it happens.
* Retired programmers were rehired en masse to fix older computer systems affected by the [[MillenniumBug [=Y2K=]]] bug.
* Imran Khan was called out of retirement to play for Pakistan in the 1992 UsefulNotes/{{Cricket}} world cup - Pakistan's president even compared it to [[InternationalShowdownByProxy a soldier being called on to fight for his country]].
* [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons Gerd von Rundstedt]] was one of Germany's top field marshals during World War II. He had retired in 1938 after over forty years of service, only for Hitler to reinstate him to lead the Heer into Poland, France, and Ukraine. Despite having acquitted himself very well (though committing the usual spate of War Crimes, of course) during ''Operation Barbarossa'', during ''Operation Typhoon'' he was fired from his position as the commander of Army Group South for ordering a 'cowardly and unnecessary retreat'. In fact a severely-depleted force under his command (First Panzer Army) had accidentally attacked a Soviet force more than five times stronger than it by trying to take the Donbass, and was then threatened with encirclement and annihilation by it [[note]] Runstedt had been told by German military intelligence (FHO) that the Soviets could offer 'no significant resistance' to such an operation (due to them supposedly having run out of trained reserves and weapons) [[/note]]. In the summer of 1944 he was fired ''again'', this time because he was "difficult to work with" [[note]] He had a 'too old for this shit' attitude that caused him to mouth off whenever he felt like. But his cardinal sin was insisting too hard that the Normandy landings were probably the real deal and Calais a diversion, something that German military intelligence contradicted [[/note]], and was then brought back again as the Germans were forced to withdraw from France altogether and had to quickly re-form a new defensive line on the Franco-German border.